Koala John - You've received a lot of very good advice here. A hot hive takes a little bit of the enjoyment out of beekeeping, but you can get around it. Hive size can play into it, as can a lot of other things...however sometimes there are just colonies that flat out need requeening if you're expecting them to be 'nice'. Don't be too quick to do this though, as they still may be good producers, and you may be able to adjust your practices to compensate for this.
Some of my colonies take a lot of smoe to calm down, others it's really easy to over-smoke. I've got a friend whose bees (I've seen it first hand) will only take a little smoke, and then after that, get really cranky (and crawly). I had one really hot colony that I ended up splitting apart and giving out in frame or two frame proportions to other colonies becuase they were just so darn hot. They required almost constant smoke while I was working them, followed you for a very very long distance, and were just absolutely miserable to work...and they were only a single deep. I'm pretty sure this was the hive that almost killed our dog too. Good riddance (the bees I mean.) :-D
I've run some 3-deeps this year, and I've noticed that most were pretty tame, unless you went down into the bottom box. The supers weren't a problem, and neither was the top deep. The second deep did require that you be pretty careful, and not bang anything or drop anything. The bottom deep...well there was a chore, and I soon went to really trying to not touch it if I could help it...packed with bees, and ultra-lively.
Cool spring day, no one out playing yet.
I've pretty much gone with a rule of thumb in removing the outermost frame to give a full slot to slide frames over. This sounds beginner-ish, but really seems to be important in the more crowded boxes. regardless of whether or not any of us are quick to admit it, boomers are more work to 'work', and sometimes these crowded boxes really do put you to the test.watch it this year and see if you want to adjust your techniques, or if you want a gentler bee in that hive. That's probably the big decision you have to make.
Don't be afraid to throw some pictures up on the site - we'd love to see them.