>This statment confuses me a bit....what happens to the queen I remove and place in a nuc if they are raising their own queen?
She is banked in the nuc. If you need a queen. You have one. If the nuc prospers and is bursting at the seams, either let it grow into hive or steal brood and stores from it to boost other hives and keep it as a spare queen. Come fall you can combine it if you like or overwinter it if you like.
5>And they cant raise a laying queen in 2 weeks (prior to the main flow) so are you saying they will gather more honey with a virgin queen or even just queen cells in place?
Try a search on "early foraging" and look at the studies, or just read the comb honey books out there. A hive with no brood to care for (e.g. no laying queen) will produce much more honey than one that is feeding and caring for brood. The young bees will be recruited to forage.
> I'm new at this but I always understood that the most productive hives were ones with good laying queens.
It's all in the timing.
> But please correct me if I am misunderstanding.
There is some more detail here:http://www.bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm#cutdown