My son and I are almost done building our TBH. He did most of the cutting and fastening of the main hive and helped (a bit) cutting bars and comb guides.
Here's how it is so far:
I used the basic plan on Michael Bush's site with a few changes. The bottom board is a 1x8 instead of 1x6, and I widened the top to 17" to keep the same angles. I screwed in a spacer bar at both ends creating a 1/4" space (I plan to use holes as the entrance, rather than just leaving a gap because I intend to use a full cover). Hopefully, the bees will like it well enough to stick around.
Clearly there's more to do, namely make some sort of cover, paint, and an entrance for the bees would probably come in handy. I also want to tie the legs together side to side and then front to back to provide better support as they're just screwed into the 1x end boards and there's a bit of flex in that direction. I'm working on a feeder, but if I goober that up too much, I can always use baggies on the bottom board, so I'm not too worked up about that.
Thinking about the roof, I was initially thinking I'd want some sort of pitched roof for the look, but a neighbor pointed out that our HOA can be a pain in the butt when they want to be. A flat roof would allow me to put a few flower pots on top and disguise it as a flower box (that's the theory, at least). But on the other hand, I still like the pitched roof idea. I plan to plant bushes around it in the spot of the yard I want it, and was wondering if anyone had any thoughts of what bushes I might get that would 1) grow tall and full enough to serve as a visual and wind break, and possibly also 2) have some flowers that that bees could use anyway. Climate wise, I live in the Eastern Panhandle of WV, which is that little area in the Northeast part of the state tucked in between VA and MD.
There's a two+ acre common area behind my property that isn't used for anything and only gets mowed a few times over the summer. I was wondering if it'd be worthwhile getting a bag or two of white clover seeds and broadcasting them there. I wouldn't be able to actually work the ground, just broadcast the seeds and hope for the best. But not if the all I would accomplish is feeding the local birds and mice the seed. If it's a good idea, when should I do it?
So... that's it so far. Hope it works. It been fun anyway. My 'day job' has me sitting behind a desk but I never 'make' anything. So I enjoy building things now and then just so I have something tangible I can knock on and say "I built that."
Hope everyone had a good Holiday!