Background: 1st year beekeeper. Installed 4-frame nuc into deep box May 18. Added 2nd deep brood box 2 weeks ago. Been feeding continuously.
In the beekeeping class I took, we were told to "Feed! Feed! Feed!" at least until both deeps had drawn comb. In threads on this board, I see that both Finsky and M. Bush recommend NOT doing this, as hive may become honey bound, and cause swarming. I think that may have happened to me.
In yesterday's inspection, I found 3 capped swarm cells together at the bottom of one frame where the bees had removed the foundation to make room for the swarm cells. There was plenty of capped brood, honey, capped honey, & pollen. I haven't learned to recognize eggs yet I did NOT see any larva, I could have missed them, but I've seen larva clearly on previous inspections. I've only seen the queen once (yesterday).
So my conclusion is that the queen has quit laying and is preparing to swarm.
What to do about the swarm cells? I see that some recommend to cut them out, but even those who say to do this admit it only works some of the time. The majority seem to say to split the hive, then recombine later. I'm limited to my "basic beginner kit", but I think since I have 2 deep boxes, I could rig up a 2nd hive with some sheets of plywood.
Do I split my 2 deeps, re-arrange the frames so that the swarm cells plus some brood, honey & pollen are in the 2nd hive? Is this a reasonable thing to do? Other suggestions?
I'm putting up hay the next couple of days, so I'm hoping they don't swarm before I get that finished.