As readers of this blog will remember, Metpropolis, a top bar hive with Italian hygienic bees, has been the weakest of my 5 hives. In previous inspections, I found no brood and a small cluster huddled around a healthy looking queen. I was worried. Today, I checked the hive out and found a still small cluster of bees and a goodly sized queen, but, thankfully, capped brood as well.
I moved some comb around, placing some bars of capped honey closer to the cluster, and pulled out a few bars of empty comb to recycle some wax. I added two empty, undrawn bars between the capped honey and the meager brood nest. All this allowed me to move each follower board closer together, creating a smaller hive space that making it easier for this small colony to maintain temperature in the cluster. (We've had a number of 40 degree nights!)
Metpropolis has surprised me! I didn't expect it to survive and it has.