With warmer weather ahead of us for the foreseeable future (fingers tightly crossed), I went into the hives again today. Last week when I move the boxes around I may have made a mistake - at the Colonial Beekeepers meeting this week I was reminded the you have to make sure you do not have a "honey cap" blocking the bees from moving upwards to produce new bees. The problem is at this time of year the queen is looking for space to lay a bunch of new bees. If above the current brood area there is a box full of honey that may actually entice the bees to swarm to find more room.
So, I went in to make sure I did not have a honey cap and also to "open up the brood nest". Again, this is about swarm prevention - the bees will swarm if they are cramped, so I went in and put some empty frames in between the frames where the brood was. This gives the queen more room to lay brood and, hopefully, not think about swarming - we'll see.
So, I did this in all three hives. In addition in Hive #3, the brood was on 6 frames all in one box. To pen this one up I moved two frames to the box above and inserted some semi-empty frames in there place. Hope this doesn't freak them out too much.
I also went ahead and removed all of the internal feeders, there is plenty of stuff popping up outside to give them resources
I did not see any swarm cells in the hives (a good thing), there were some drones cells, but not a bunch.