I use the NICOT for queen production. I have also converted numerous hives to 4.9 small cell as part of my own little test to see if there's anything to the 4.9/varroa rumors. The verdict is still out with me.
Here's my question. Will new queens from 5.4 queen mothers have troubles when placed in 4.9 small cell hives/nucs/splits? Every swarm I've ever caught and placed straight into 4.9 foundation has superseded the queen within weeks. I also know that the cell size in the NICOT has sometimes been said to be a little large.
So, anyone have experience with this?