I dropped in on a bee club class that my club is doing yesterday. The speaker talked a little bit about SHB. He thinks it helps keep them under control to eliminate empty space in the hive, thereby giving them less room to hide and get away from the cluster. He was mainly refering to his hive set up during the fall/winter/early spring, not during hive build up, when he gives them room for obvious reasons. His suggestion was that, on warm days in winter, he will see if he has a box worth of empty comb and, if so, remove it from the hive completely.

Basically, his point was that strong hives keep the SHB in check, and a crowded box is the same as a strong hive, at least for SHB purposes.

It occurred to me that checkerboarding makes a whole lot of empty room for the SHB to hide in and lay eggs in. Has anybody had any experience with SHB getting out of hand after a hive gets checkerboarded?