I have completed my topbar hive, ready for next season.
It is based on the ancient Greek design, which is still used in some of Africa today.
Basically it is a terracotta pot, and base.
Below shows the small drainage hole that the bees will use as an entrance/exit. I may choose to widen this, I haven't decided.
The above displays the topbars, with some base wax sheeting attached. although I have no evidence of wax sheeting with premolded hexes on it, (there are many examples of wax being rubbed on the bars to encourage the bees however) I have chosen to add them in an effort to assist the new swarm I will put in it, come next spring.
Below shows the wax sheets hanging from the topbars. There is considerable room in the place for the bees, and I suspect it may be too open, but only time will truly tell.
You can see the numbers burned into the bars - For my own convenience when inspecting the hive later.
Above is the final shot showing all the bars in place and the lid resting alongside the skep. This is sealed nicely, and the bees only entrance/exit is in the bottom (as stated above).
This is a good example of fitting the law AND trying to recreate beekeeping, as modernly hives (and their combs) MUST be inspectable. Australia has avoided a number of bee diseases that are prevalent in the world, and I am certainly not going to flout this rule (some of the diseases are caused by sloppy beekeeping). I hope this will yield a good hive of bees, and await it (spring) eagerly
Crane, Eva The Archaeology of Beekeeping