Observation hives are great for your first year to be able to check on the hive often without disturbing them to much. You may want to look in to building your own top bar beehive. Check out Bee Thinking for some finished examples. There are plans at http://www.biobees.com/build-a-beehive-free-plans.php
I don't think a colony would last long in a hive like that. the design maximizes surface area to volume, so there would be an awful lot of solar gain in the summer and an awful lot of heat loss in the winter. the bees wouldn't have room to cluster, either. basically, it would overheat and then freeze.
there's also not nearly enough room for a sustainable population in there, or for a good brood nest.
I would go with a common horizontal or vertical top bar hive design. there are free plans easily available that include observation windows.
There is an Apple orchard here that has a hive like the window one shown on the link, it just isn't enough space and they have it hooked to an existing hive outside, the bees seem to use it as an auxiliary box, not much brood and not much honey, almost like a Lounge, no work going on.....
Top bar all the way.
Seriously? That's what you're going with? I prefer this tiny ad:
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