Ditto on the tracheal resistant bees, the swarm control you've described is called "Demareeing", I think it's pretty common in the UK.
My personal plans are:
Buy three packages and one extra queen, if I don't need the queen for one of my overwintered hives, divide the package bees four ways and install all of them into nuc boxes. Give them four weeks, with all the syrup and pollen sub. they want, then split all of them into full size boxes. Then split them again in summer.
For the overwintered hives, I want to have pollen patties and syrup on all of them by March 1st at the latest. Then I want to demaree them all, but I won't be doing that before tax day, possibly later. Then, once there's a laying queen in the upper box, remove the older one into a nuc, and pull the queen excluders, giving the new queen all of the boxes to lay in. Then do cut down splits on them all just before the sweet clover blooms.
Meanwhile, I want to run a swarm "trapline", and be up to 25 hives by the end of August.
Almost forgot, continue using OA and sticky boards to control V-mites!
dbland, I like your thinking on splits. I like to use at least 2 frames though.
On the split making and not being able to find the queen: The commercial beekeeper I worked with for a while would spend a minute or so looking for the queen but not waste too much time. He would grab a few frames of brood, shake all the bees off gently, then place them in a box on top of the hive on top of the queen excluder. Then he would continue working the yard. When ready to leave, he would go back and pick the box off to take to another yard (to add a new queen later). Nurse bees came up through the queen excluder to care for the young. This ensured no queen and young bees to continue the hive. Works well.
NurseBee: Great idea about shaking off all the bees and placing above the hive in a new hive box over top a queen excluder. I have 10 hives and will make five to seven splits this spring. I ahve two packages and two Italian queens coming in from Wilbanks. I have also ordered NWC queens and West Virginia queens from Strachan Apiaries for the remaining splits. Looking to have 18-20 strong hives by end of this summer.
I am excited about spring and hope to try some new things. I got some R Weaver queens last fall and hope to see how they do untreated, but I stand ready. I want to reduce varroa treatment. I have been struggleing with whether or not to try OA vapor. I want to try Purvis Brothers queens, but they were sold out during the time frame I wanted them. I don't have a fork lift. To move bees this spring I am trying 10 ft "sleds" made out of angle iorn carrying 6 hives. I hope to slide them onto my tilt trailer to move them to 3 diffrent nectar flows. Instead of trying to make much honey, I hope to increase my hive numbers this year. I am going to start with makeing some early splits in mid/late Febuary with Big Island Queens which I have had success with in the past. More queens coming in April. I am trying some (new to me) queens from Avoyelles out of LA. I have been feeding syrup and pollen subsitute.