Re: How long until swarm has good laying pattern?
Melanie, Since this is a swarm the old queen generally goes with the swarm and many times she is coming to the end of her best laying. This would account for the spotty laying pattern. Generally the bees will supersede her after a round or two of brood. Once a new queen has been made the pattern should look better. Also if this turned out to be an after swarm the queen may have been a virgin when they swarmed and sometimes a newly mated queen takes a little time to "get it right". Hope this helps.
"Of all God's creatures, only the honeybee improves its environment and preys on no other species."--Haydon Brown