Generally, I don’t really recommend using top bar hives, especially for new beekeepers. The frameless combs are delicate and require very careful handling. So my advice is, “why make things harder than they need to be?” and certainly “get experience with frames first”. Top bar hives are cheap to build and their proponents claim that inspections are less disruptive (and stingy!?). I made one from an old pallet and have been pleasantly surprised by how well the swarm followed my plans. On another earlier occasion, I helped install a cutout into a top bar hive; getting the old combs realigned and straight proved very troublesome. Here’s a slideshow with some pictures of the successful experience.