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If you are living in the north of Scotland, my advice would be to start with a National or WBC Hive angstroth Hive is probably the most used hive in the world ... Outer dimensions of the brood box are 464mm x 416mm x 225mm.
Takes 11 British Standard (BS) frames and wax but the end lugs on the frames are shortened to 19mm viz normal at 25mm.
Make sure you are comfortable with it and it doesn't tire you out. If you should acquire it do not use it; burn it, render it down for exchange or make candles, etc. If you are not sure about the signs of disease get someone who is competent to look at them with you.Many beekeepers now view the brood box of the National as too small for the laying activity of modern strains of queen bee, so operate the National with a brood box and one super. While this provides enough room for the brood, it also increases the number of frames that have to be checked through regular inspection.Because of this the National hive brood boxes are also now available in a 14 x 12 inch size which gives a brood size similar to the Commercial or Langstroth. Uses the dadant size of frame and fits 10 or 11 frames. Smith in Scotland and the construction is similar to the National hive.Download plansrames Once you have decided which hive might suit you best and it is a hive that requires frames ... If it is anything other than a British Standard hive, the frames are refered to by the hive name ... Now the bees require a certain amount of free space within the hive to be able to traverse across and up and down the hive ... Frames have to be spaced so as to give them that pathway, too big a space and they fill it with extra wax, too little and the bees will tear down your foundation to get through.Might I suggest to fit your hive out with 'Hoffman' self spacing frames ... Picture top right is the side bar of a self spacing frame.
Building a top bar hive is no more difficult than putting up shelves and can be done using hand tools and recycled wood.