Re: How would you all respond to this "constructive criticism" of the top bar hive?
Looking at the pics of your hive, i think it is inevitable that if the bees perform normally, they will outgrow the hive. You then either split it, or it swarms.
At it's most basic, a hive split can be done by moving the hive a few yards away and putting a new empty one on the old location. Then take at least one comb with eggs in it from the moved hive and put it into the new hive. Brush the bees off to ensure you left the queen behind. Enough bees will return to the old location to get the hive going again, and turn one of those eggs into a new queen, which will take around a month.
There are numerous ways to split a hive and some other ways are more reliable, but the above way is probably one of the most simple.
The lack of expansion potential is one of the biggest drawbaks of top bar hives. Some folks get around this by designing a top bar hive that can have another box added on top, for the bees to expand into and store honey in, on a seasonal basis. This does present some design challenges, and requires that some of the top bars are modified to allow the bees to move up between them. It also removes some of the simplicity of the top bar design. But it will allow the bees more room if they need it, and greatly enhance their ability to provide you with a good honey surplus.
44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).