Re: Converting over to small cell foundation--
My bees drew acceptable (?) small cell comb on the 4th round of small cell foundation given to them. 4 colonies did it on the 3rd round, but they were daughters from a Texas queen (think 10% Africanized). I had 20 colonies on small cell for 3 years and their varroa numbers were greater or equal to my colonies on 5.2 Pierco plastic frames. Those that use small cell comb with success always credit the comb, they never give any credit to the bees genetics. By now it should be obvious that I don't believe in the small cell hype. But here is what I would recommend for drawing small cell comb from wax foundation.
Using the wax foundation you will need to allow the bees to use the comb produced for a cycle or two of brood, even if it is wonky, so that you will have the smaller wax workers to draw the next round of comb. Place 1 frame of foundation in the center of your nucs, and if you find a nuc that draws the foundation accurately use that one to draw comb for others that will not. Once you have 2 or three combs in the middle of each brood chamber, and the queen fills them, you should begin to see mostly small cell comb. I think now everyone recommends the small cell plastic frame/foundations from Mann Lake, the bees are said to do a better job drawing them.
I would use the poorly drawn combs to make drone comb to trap varroa. Use a capping scratcher to destroy the surface and let the bees redraw it. Usually they make it in mostly drone cells.
Have fun working the bees on to the small cells, for me it was a learning experience. I would recommend you do it with not over 4 colonies. That is enough for you to be able to compare the results with your other colonies, but if it blows up you will not be out much expense. I still have 2 colonies on small cell, they are no better health wise than any of my other colonies, and they must requeen themselves. When I attempt to requeen with queens I raise from my other stock the queens refuse to lay in the small cells. Usually after 3 to 5 weeks the queen will start to lay, but I can't let colonies go that long with no brood production.
42 + years - 24 colonies - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic