FRAMEshift; Thanks, you've made some good points for me to ponder. There are so few beeks using Long Hives so I'm glad you were/are around and posted. I wasn't planning on using the whole length of second story for frames, and may not use it at all during midsummer, except perhaps to experiment w/ venting, and at its most occupied it would be the area of a medium super maximum (perhaps to collect honey), hence the movable followers.
My primary motive is having the option to place a candy board 'over' brood nest area with 2-4 inches of insulation over that for winter.
I feel they froze during a cold snap (well below zero) in February, following an explosive cleansing flight during a slight warm up (never saw so many yellow polka-dots ;). By the next warm up (2-3 weeks later) I could already smell them. There was one soccer ball size cluster, with queen in middle, sitting right on top of a near full frame of honey with more all around, along w/ three tiny (baseball) clusters spread out toward back. As in past years they had created tunnels allowing for access throughout the hive, the little geniuses 8-). They never touched the sugar I left them on the back end behind the follower, or the last 9 frames of honey. I put them to bed (for the second time due to unusually warm Fall) last November, downsized from 35 frames to 29. This Long Hive takes 40 frames max.
Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks again.