Martha and I would like to share with you our experience building our own Barrel Top Bar Hives (TBH). This is not meant to be a step-by-step tutorial, but rather a general overview of the steps we took and lessons learned during the process,. There are plenty of excellent step-by-step tutorials out on the internet you can follow if you need that level of help. You’re also welcome to post questions here and we’ll happily answer them to assist you in your process!
The largest component in a barrel TBH is obviously the barrel. Lots of people from what we read online said they had cheap to free access to 55-gallon food grade barrels but we had to buy ours. If you live in the Northern Virginia area we highly recommend NOVA Barrel. They have a great selection of barrels and very reasonable prices. We were able to get a food grade 55-gallon barrel from NOVA Barrel for just $35. One thing that was really nice about the model they had was the top rim completely snapped off when we were cutting the barrel in half which provided a flatter surface and eliminated the need to cut the rim off (a step shown in the earlier referenced tutorial).