Yes I have a tiny bit as a child the year my parents had a hive.(winter killed) The joints will still have the same tool access as a wood hive and the inside of the box will be the same. And bees don't coat the outside of a tree so why would the do the outside of the hives?
As for A is the middle of the wall of the box and B is tapered down to at the corners. The siding lap joint shape should provide hand holds for the boxes while kicking most of the water away from the joint. The sharp edge is to serve as a drip edge. B would be the corners to better jump the water past the joint. Molded so no corner joint. The green and the tan is alternate thinking for top and bottom box shape. Rather than being square top and bottoms on boxes if the joint slopped up to the inside water would naturally stay out and and anti-wicking groove in the bottom of the top box should keep water from wicking up. The tool would still insert but instead of pushing straight in it would go in at an upward angle. Will angles line up properly is my question there?
Build the boxes with roughly a 2 inch wall thickness for insulation and the lip of the lap going up to 1/2" above the joint and 1/2" out from the joint to act as a handle and also to jump water past the joint. Radius the inside corners of the box to roughly 3/16 to eliminate hive beetle hiding locations and outside to slightly smaller than the wall thickness for the elimination of easily damaged corners. The sharp edge of the lap will help serve as a drip edge. The B shape would be better to keep moisture out but I know that it is almost certain the laps will be used as hand holds so raising the middle 6" to 8" by a 1/2" to the A shape will hopefully keep fingers from being pinched while handling the hives. Will a 1/2" out be enough either as handles or 1/2" up to keep fingers from getting pinched.
For the skim coat use white sand, concrete, a waterproofing water reducer and white pigment. By mixing pigment directly with the skim coat the boxes should never need painting. Press a basalt rebar fabric mesh into the back side of the skim coat. The final color should be a slightly grayish white and because it is built in rather than painted on it should be permanent. Water proofer that increases skim coat strength and reduces water for greater strength plus smoother finish.
For the aircrete: foaming agent, water reducer, concrete and possibly added fiber. Leave it gray concrete.
Water proofer that increases skim coat strength. Water proofer
For pigment this. Concrete pigment
For the mesh. It is chosen over fiberglass because fiberglass can wick water in if the fiber ends are expose and this stuff isn't supposed to. Basalt mesh
The rest would be white sand there again for color and concrete. Locally white sand out of the Tensleep sandstone formation would be ideal. The final color should be a slightly grayish white and because it is built in rather than painted on it should be permanent no repainting.
For the aircrete
The foaming agent mostly they are choosing the Drexel foam that they use in field sprayers for marking passes. Alternates are dawn dishwasing liquid or Oily hair shampoo. All are basically sodium laurel sulphate.
For best final strength high end water reducers are wanted. So means looking at the super plasticizers. Since they do small quanities looking at this outfit. Looking at 5, 6 or 7 here. Super Plasticizers
The reason for looking at something different than standard equipment is to try and allow for benign neglect as possible. To get all the equipment set up to minimize risk and minimize checking hives.
So my current thinking goes like this. Build a basic langstroth hive but simply use different materials. To keep weight down and maximum interchangeability of parts go with all mid size boxes. No deeps and probably no shallows. Might want some 8 frame's for supers for weigh control But that means more height which might not be old man compatible either.
For varroa control go foundationless and allow bee size to move back down. The list of food sources they can't reach smaller was fairly small and very little that was in this area. The red clover that they were bred up for is nearly non existent here. I have read the information on number of sides the frame should have 1, 3, or 4 for foundationless and have decided I would build for 4 simply for best durability in an extractor situation. I realize to start out that at least every other frame would have to have foundation and working up to foundationless would take some time.
Hive beetle control is minimize hiding places and possible either screened bottom board or do the biological layer bottom board.
Ant control is moat legs with skim of a non polymerizing oil floating over water so one the bug is down in the water it can decay away so the moat doesn't need to be cleaned as often and the oil slows water evaporation. Then in my thinking ideally water should self replenish without carrying the oil away when if over flows and I am still working on that one. Basic moats seems to be all that is in the online info. Would like to do better but still don't know how yet. Still under study.
Then for skunk control either raised hives or going top entry hives. Top entry seems to make a lot of sense and keeps snow from being a problem for winter cleansing flights from the various info but raised hives provides a good way to maybe do moats too. So at any rate might choose to do both here.
Mouse control especially during off season is good screens, gap elimination and properly restricted entrances. The lap siding style design I want to try should help to make reaching upper entrances more difficult to reach. I had originally been thinking raised hives as part of the cure here till I got to the mouse trap information that shows to keep mice from jumping out of a well type trap the well needs to be 28 inches deep. So much for that idea. If the bottom of the hives was 30 inches reaching top boxes would be difficult in the extreme.
That leaves wax moths as the other big one and mostly that looks like the ideal is higher maintenance and freezing everything not in the hive. Don't see any design fixes here. Still wondering if adding a bat box close would help reduce the possibility of moth problems but no literature on that. Maybe losses in bees would outweigh the gain but they should mostly not overlap much as bees are day time and bats night time.
That leaves disease control. So far I have only found 3 thing design wise that make sense. Good ventilation, rough surface inside the box so bees propilise the inner surface making it more hygienic for them and the possible use of a biologic bottom in the hive. Beyond that it is a matter of trying to breed for disease resistance and breed for less harmful disease. On my small scale that one will likely have minimal effect so the 3 listed above look like the best bets design wise.
As for weather proofing the same basics as apply to a stand langstroth. Sloping roof telescoping covers.(for summer ventilation possibly with louvered and screened ends. The peaks of the roofs running in line with the row of hives so any shed water is kicked front and back rather than sideways into the next hive. Under that I want to borrow from Warre' hives and bring the quilt or blanket over and scale it to langstroth for ventilation and condensation control. That givens ventilated insulation for the top of the hive. That much seems to make sense for year round use.
The base I am still trying to figure out a shape on. It makes a difference whether I support the bases on some sort of framework or whether I want to stand them on the ground. Dream system would be a raised steel framework but expense and labor make it unreasonable. So currently thinking some sort of skirt and legs that stick down from the base to be stood in air brake diaphrams as the moat container. The rubber protected from the sun would run decades and it wouldn't be hurt by freezing. The ideal base would allow doing solid base, insulated base, screened bottom board and biologic board all in one form. So far that one meeting proper screened bottom board design while meeting the other criteria is escaping me. But it would be absolutely stupid to have the rest of the hive fire proof and not have the base fire proof too. So it about has to be cast out of concrete. And if it never moves its weight really doesn't matter. There again a combination of aircrete for insulation and concrete for strength. Going top entry means the shape could change more if needed from a standard design.
The hives would sort of look like these composters in my thinking. Turn the roofs 90 degrees so any water shed moves away from the hive instead of running down at the wall of the next hive. The edges wouldn't be straight on the laps because of curving from B at the corners to A in the middle for handholds. Instead they would curve down a half inch near the corners. And the verticalcorners would be radiused to about a 2" radius to both cut weight slightly and to reduce sharp corner damage while handling. Approximate hive body shape except would have a 2" radius on the vertial corners.
As for concrete beehives there was some work out of africa done on them. They were using polystyrene beads mixed with concrete there instead of aircrete but the effect should be the same. There is a contest every year for engineering students building a concrete canoe with the polystyrene beads so strength there isn't an issue and I think aircrete done properly could be as good and cheaper and more fire and insect proof. Plus it is a little closer to the permies ideal.(yes I realize wood is closer still but longer life and lower maintenance may add up to being closer in the end with aircrete) And here is one of many links for aircrete.