I had a lot more frames of even age/stage patterns on first year hives where everything but the nuc frames were started as a clean slate. Some of the hives that overwintered with honey to spare, are all mixed up. I can see signs that early spring hand sizd patches of brood were raised and some frames were laid up later only where the honey was emptied. Now with nectar and pollen coming in some areas are not available for the queen. It seems to me that the availability of space or laying pattern is in a lot of cases totally beyond the queens control. One hive in particular got me to thinking about this. Wherever there was a bunch of cells laid up there was no shotgun pattern and the queen was laying in both boxes but nowhere could you find a large panel of even aged production. The hive is growing rapidly but by many contemporary standards the queen is not laying a good pattern. Hate to see a good girl get a bad reputation because of external circumstances. What would it take (or does it matter) to regulate the pattern?