Hybrid: Top Bar and Langstroth Super hive
We want bees along with our aquaponic'n'rabbit greenhouse. For anyone who's seen my queries in the vemiculture forum, you'll know that I am a "merger maniac". We're joining "standard" aquaponics with rabbit hutches for what I call "integraponics" for food production. Now, I want to merge the two major bee hive types to get the advantages of both. Here's my proposal:
For the lowest level of a bee hive, where the queen lays her eggs and the workers brood the larvae, I'd like to have a top bar hive. This would let the bees make their own comb suitable for that purpose(s) (for workers and for drones, etc.). Since I would not be disturbing this level too often (to check the condition of the hive, otherwise, they'll be on their own), there's no reason for them to destroy the wax, and the cells will be the proper size for this use.
However, for the honey supers, which I've only seen in a few places for a top bar hive, I'd like to use "standard" frames, turned 90 degrees so the longer dimension is vertical. That matches, pretty well, the width of the top bar hive body. This way, the bees still would not have to make new comb every time I harvest their work. All the standard tools would work, too.
This adaptation would let us have more honey the advantage of the Langstroth hives for honey (more honey, less wax) and of the top bar hive (properly sized cells for the brood which makes a stronger, healthier colony).
I'm far from an expert in these mattes, so any input would be most appreciated. Especially, I'm interested in why it would not work: there's no sense in wasting time and effort in doing something that's impossible.
All the best,