So - I went to set up checkerboarding this past weekend, my first time trying this. Both hives overwintered in a single deep + medium. Both are doing well, higher mite loads then I'd like but plenty of bees, good stores, etc. So I went to checkerboard, and Hive 1: The medium on top had 3/4 frame brood, 1/4 frame honey on top (a few full honeys on the side). What to do? I didn't want to break up the nest with some cold nights forecast. So I took out the 2 -3 frames full of honey, replaced with drawn frames, and then put a new super on top, with the 2-3 frames of drawn honey interspersed with drawn frames between them. Will this do any good? When they look up from the brood, they still see a band of honey.
Hive #2 had brood up to the roof on several frames, and full frames of honey on the outside. I basically did the same thing - so I'm feeling better about this one, although the checkerboarding isn't anywhere near complete, it's just two frames of honey with an empty frame between them.
It doesn't seem all that likely that the bees will follow the rules - that is, break off their brood nest right at the divider between boxes, which is what all of the checkerboarding pictures seem to show.