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I installed two packages at the end of April, and I wanted to do what I could to prevent them swarming the way my 2010 bees did.

So, throughout May I made sure they didn't have more than 3/4 of the frames built out in any box. (I run all 8-frame foundationless mediums). But, still being a novice, I made the mistake of spreading out the brood frames too much. The weather was still cool here in May, with nights in the 40's. Last week when I inspected, I found that brood (capped and uncapped) at the periphery of the frames had died, and there was some blackish discoloration present. The brood in the center of the frames had hatched out, and the queens have gone on to lay more. In general, I think both hives are looking pretty good, considering my unhelpful management.

My questions are:

1) It seems like now all of a sudden the bees are gulping down the sugar syrup, which during May they weren't all that interested in. Does that have any connection with the fact that I messed up their brood nest placement?

2) Will there be any other outcome, or any problems I should look out for, as a result of my spreading out the brood frames and interspersing them with empty frames?

3) I don't want to repeat my mistake in the future, and the weather is warm now, but I still don't understand the art of giving the bees enough space that they don't feel the need to swarm, but also keeping the brood together in our cold springs.

Thanks for any advice!
 
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