Welcome to the forum. Top bar hives were repopularized by American Peace Corp folks trying to aid the impoverished in getting a food source and a little income. You can put TBH's together on the real cheap, but no one seems to build them cheap except maybe Sam Comfort at Anarchy Apriaries and I think all he has got out of the deal are bee tattoo's on his face and a poverty income. I am fascinated with the idea of a TBH myself but I have helped a friend with his and management time increases astronomically over running Langs. Bees are a fascinating avocation and there is nothing like jumping in. If you are going to make this leap this spring, you need to get serious about your search for bees to stock whatever equipment you decide on.