Hello good people! I have a colony of Italians with a 3 year old queen. They over wintered on 2 deeps. About 2 weeks ago, they were really brooding up in the upper chamber, but had not started laying in the lower chamber. I knew they were about to have a big hatch, so I reversed the boxes and threw on a third deep of drawn comb. Blackberries are full bloom right now and I took a peek tonight. To my surprise, the top super was about half full of honey. The middle super had about 3 frames of brood in the center. The frames were completely covered with capped brood. The rest of the box, honey. The bottom box was about 4 frames of capped brood and 3 frames of larva. A lot of young larva, one side of a capped frame was almost entirely drone. The remaining 3 frames-honey. I found a total of 7 queen cells-3 near the bottom of the frames in the bottom box and 4 near the bottom of the frames in the middle box. 3 of the cells were capped, the other 4 looked much younger, but had larva in them. They weren't actually on the bottom of the frames, but in the combs near the lower corners. I've never had a hive overwinter and look this strong this early. Not sure where To go from here. I've got a frame marked with a nice ripe cell to make a slit with tomorrow. If they are gearing up to swarm, I'm thinking I should make a split with the old queen to simulate the swarm. She is 3 years old, so I'm wondering if they are superseding? Any advise? I'm in strange waters. My 3rd season and have never had a hive actually develop their cups. As always, thanks for your wisdom!