I did get into that long hive today, and saw some interesting stuff.
I had found after winter that they had STILL not touched the new frames I had put in on the upper BACK of the brood area. Also, this winter, they had stayed near the front and the queen laid her eggs nearest to the entrance. SO - I had put the used frames in a box and placed it above the front part of the brood. Then put a honey super above that of top bar frames. I also moved the untouched frames to the back of the brood box.
The bees did what I expected...... sort of. They moved up, and laid more eggs in the box above the brood area they already had. They also finished up the comb on the top bars and had nectar and brood up there. So basiclly 2 1/2 boxes of brood. But they still refused to go BACK and start making foundation on those new frames that I had now placed there.
So what I did this time was split the brood, and placed the brood above the back of the large (long) brood box. Plus left the top bar frames there. I'm going back in tomorrow to put a queen excluder under the honey super so those bees can just hatch out and the queen can't lay in all that beautiful fresh comb (still VERY white, but bees are capped).
I expect it to be another large hive this year. It really does raise more bees for me, but of course that's always a tricky thing to manage. A large hive can collect more honey, but they can eat more too if the weather turns on you like it did last year. Here's one frame I took (top bar) that had only nectar, some capped. Part of it we had cut off the frame before I remembered I wanted a picture.
It was about 3 lbs of honey.