Our friend Greg made us a top bar beehive out of salvaged wood. We just have to put on the finishing touches: make a roof, attach the legs, and seal the wood to make it more weather resistant:
Build your own top bar hive with these instructions, a supplement to The Barefoot Beekeeper.
The instructions recommended sealing it with a 20:1 mix of raw linseed oil and beeswax. Make sure to get "raw linseed oil" instead of "boiled linseed oil" which contains heavy-metal solvents.
The "pure raw linseed oil" that we found at the hardware store said that it contains no additives, yet it still has the "causes cancer/birth defects in California" warning—really confusing! Next time I might opt to get food-grade flaxseed oil, which I believe is essentially the same thing.
Hopefully we can get this thing done in time to get bees when they start swarming!