Not long after our teenage son started raising honey bees, a family friend built him a top bar beehive with an observation window using beehive plans from a homesteading book. It was such an amazing gift.
Like many beekeepers, we lost bees this winter. New packages failed to build up in a normal way last summer and were unusually slow to build comb and put away stores into fall. In September, aggressive yellow jacket predation weakened them further leaving them unable to carry themselves through the cold.