Sorry for the blurry pic ... it was a bit awkard trying to take this with my iPhone.
I did a very quick inspection today, and I found something completely unexpected. All I wanted to do was see how they were progressing with the 3rd medium brood box I added a week ago ... and I see what looks like swarm cells to me (these are on the bottom of a frame in the top box). This is a brand new hive from a package ... on previously undrawn foundation. I really wasn't expecting to have to deal with swarming until next year, but it looks like that's not the case!
I'm pretty sure they haven't already swarmed as the numbers look quite high to me (certainly more than last inspection).
So, a few questions:
1) Are those indeed swarm cells? (It looks like i managed to "uncap" one when removing the frame and the larvae is shown in the middle of the photo in one of the cells)
2) How much time do I have before the actually swarm?
3) I'm a newbie, so what's the recommended split method? I'd like to just do a basic cut-down split or something, but not sure how to do that with 3 mediums all containing brood. Do I need to go and look for the queen instead?
I'm not great at seeing eggs, but I definitely saw very small larvae ... all sizes of larvae actually (very tiny to larger). argh!