I would say that a Top Bar Hive is perfect for a beginner. Not only because they're easy to make from readily available, and cheap, materials but, they offer a perspective of the hive not seen in Langstroth hives. In my experience, the bees are less excitable in a TBH (saving the cost of gloves, a beekeeping jacket, etc). You won't get the same huge yields of honey but, I don't view that as a necissarily bad thing. They're alot of fun, especially in comparison to Langstroth hives. Lang hives have perfectably respectable uses as commercial hives or for honey production but, TBHs are just a joy to work.