Top Bar Hives

I built my first TBH in Spring 2013 and the photo here shows it just after bring built.
I picked up a swarm not too long after and introduced them to the hive using a sheet leading up to the entrance. It worked really well.
 Here is the TBH with bees settled in.
I bought a second hive as I liked the idea of the TBH and wanted to have another to experiment with. Before building it I decided to adapt it by fitting a window at the back. Here you can see the pane of glass I had; I marked the area to cut out in the middle of the hive...
 ... so I cut the middle out and tidied up the edges... so far so good...
 ... then fitted the glass into the hole and assembled the rest of the hive as normal. The cover for the window is on top of the hive with the handle on it.

I have also bought some roofing felt and fitted this to both top bar hives, so they are better protected from the weather.
I also had the first top bar hive colony build their comb across several bars rather than down the length of one single bar - not ideal. 
So the second top bar hive I made needed a different plan. I read that one of the best things to do is to attach lengths of split dowel to the bars as shown in the picture below.
This worked a treat and the bees in the new top bar hive are building every comb along the bars really well. Maybe it's a fluke, and they need to be watched so they don't start to stray off the bar onto another bar with the comb, but that is the nature of top bar hive management.

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