This is Ruhl Bee Supply in Portland, and walking into the store gives me heart palpitations. I make up excuses to go to Portland just so I can come here. The smell of wood, wax, and honey is intoxicating. I called them and told them of my 8-frame slatted rack woes, and they agreed to begin building them.
Ruhl has started making true top bar frame components for Langstroth hives. I bought some just to experiment. Supposedly the wedge-shaped design works the best for getting bees to draw out nice, straight, natural comb; even better than the two methods I've tried. I'll put them to the test.
Here is the progress on the used frames. They made quick work cleaning them out. Look at the mounds of fluffly white capping wax they chewed up to get to the honey.
Because I am attempting to keep two extremely active hives in a suburban backyard with close neighbors, I am very paranoid about providing good water sources for my bees within my own yard. The success of my whole operation hinges on not upsetting the neighbors. The bees love this ceramic tray filled with rocks to prevent drowning.
I also use an extra chicken waterer with rocks in the rim. They especially like volcanic rocks, which are continuously soaking up water. There are bees crawling around in here all day long, which means they are most likely not at my neighbors water faucet!