I'm in Houston, TX and wanted to get some bees for my garden. After some reading I decided a TBH would probably be the cheapest and easiest, not to mention most natural way to go.
I will coat the tongue on the bars with beeswax.
I ordered my bees from BeeWeaver Apiaries in Austin, Texas. They boast being chemical free for over a decade.
The glass was free from Craigslist. And of course so was that gorgeous pile of cedar lumber!
UPDATES: I no longer saw the full length groove in the top bar. I noticed (and made a video about it) that this is the perfect size little gap, that the bees can't patrol and SHB love to hide in. DON'T DO IT! I also don't glue in tongues anymore (which is great since I don't saw the groove anymore either). The goal was that the bees would use the tongue for a guide, but they paid no mind and built cross comb anyway. I'm experimenting with the other options of triangled bottoms on the bars, etc. So far I am just running flat bars, and the bees seem to like them just fine.
Be careful with the geometry when building and making changes on the fly! As mentioned, the plans I had called for a leader board that was 15" at top, 11" tall, and 5" wide at base. So my original boards were. Then I decided to shorten them, and just hacked off 2" to make them 9" tall. I didn't think about them no longer being 5" wide at base. It makes them closer to 6.75" at the bottom. So now I have 4 hives, and two are different dimensions than the other two. Makes it a pain to share equipment since I have to trim comb from the wider based hives to fit in the narrower based hives. From here forward, all my hives will be built around the leader board jig that is 15" wide at top, 9" tall, and 5" wide at base. Actually makes for almost exactly 60 degrees from horizontal for the walls, 61 I believe.