At what point should I be adding new bars to a hived nuc?
2 weeks ago I installed 2 five frame nucs and 5 empty bars spaced in between the nuc bars. The bee's have partially drawn out, 4 in 1 hive and 3 in the other, of the 'new' bars. I'd say about equal to a medium Lang frame. Perhaps 50% of the available volume for each bar. Some bars a little less. Both hives have left the first bar empty. One has started drawing the frame next to the follower board.
Both hives have eggs, uncapped and capped brood, capped and uncapped nectar. One hive capped a queen cell last week that I removed. This week both hives have multiple queen cells. Some in the middle of comb some at the bottom.
My newbie opinion based on what I've read is that they are prepping to swarm due to space. However they still have lots of room to build. Is it possible that they just aren't building fast enough to keep ahead of the queen so they are prepping to swarm?
I did have 1:1 syrup out when I first hived them. The 2 hives between them took in about 1 liter worth. It was in an open feeder about 200 feet from the hives. They never did 'swarm' the feeder but the syrup did disappear slowly over a week. I can also see some very light 'nectar' in cells which I suspect is that syrup.
Both queens are laying like crazy, good full patterns. Splitting unfortunately isn't really an option right now due to lack of equipment and lack of time to make something to put them in. I'm building a second barrel hive as quickly as I can but likely won't be finished with it until next week.
How bad of an idea would it be for me to keep pulling off the queen cells in hopes that I can get them to continue filling out bars and to buy some time until I can get them even more space? If I do that do I run the risk of the bee's absconding due to not liking something about the queen? Also if I do that, will the bee's eventually just give up the idea of swarming? Do they do that?