When beekeeper had a big colony, telescopic cover rises over its limit and cover was hanging on supers. Nothing good in this style.
OK, now I understand. The cover wasn't built to handle enough supers for a big colony. That's why Michael says top bar hives take more frequent work.
However that man had a model how to keep hives "under horizont". Not much to lift. He has a stock which is like 50 years ago. He had nursed bees 53 years.
As Michael Bush says, "anything will work if you let it."
I worked for a very traditional beekeeper 30 years ago using langs in a much warmer climate. I didn't learn much from him because he wasn't interested in teaching. He was a mean boss, and it was best just to do what he said and stay out of his way. He saw a langstroth hive as the closest he could come to a brute force way to get what he wanted from the bees. I might have become more interested in bees much earlier if it hadn't been for him and his attitude.
Three years ago I decided to have some bees of my own. Getting them was easy, and getting advice locally was easy as long as I did what I was told and didn't question thier methods. On overwintering bees, the advice was "don't bother trying - it's just a game and it's a waste of time." I had read about different methods used in Canada and about different hive types and about small cell methods, and I kept asking "what if." I was too stuborn to accept that killing bees was the only option here, and soon none of the beekeepers I know locally would talk with me any more (there are some who I didn't know then who are a bit more open minded, but they're still not enthusiastic about wintering bees).
I've tried and failed to overwinter bees here twice now, always in top bar hives. I don't believe the hives are the reason I failed. I'm sold on top bar hives. Lots of people tell me they're inferior, they're just toys, that they can't possibly produce as well as langs, but no one has been able to give a specific reason for that, and most who don't like them have never tried them. Mr. Johanesson's comment about "I'm not going to waste my time learning about them, you should just burn them" is typical. That kind of closed mindedness frustrates me, and that's where my original question came from. Too many people just aren't willing to let them work.
Finsky, I hope I don't appear to be challenging or trying to be argumentative with you specifically. I'm grateful for all your advice, and you've taught me more about keeping bees at high latitudes just from reading your posts on this forum than all the Alaskan beekeepers I've talked to for four years. Your system works for you, and would probably work for me if I adopted it, but I'm confident that I can incorporate much of what I learn from you into a system using top bar hives too. I respect your knowledge and experience a lot.