We are brand new to beekeeping although we did attend classes hosted by a professional beekeeper. I believe that we installed the bees and the queen correctly and we started feeding them syrup. We had nice weather almost every day since installation and the hive activity has been very strong. A lot of pollen and nectar were being collected and the comb was being drawn out at a good pace. At week one, we couldn't find the queen, but we saw eggs and we assumed that we didn't spot her just because we are too new at this. At exactly the 2-week mark, we inspected the hive and saw some eggs, but not much in the way of larvae. More disturbing, is that there were about 10 queen cells toward the top of a few frames above the nectar and pollen cells. 4 days later, I now see the unmistakable peanut-shaped swarm cell at the bottom of a frame. I see several cells with white grubs growing and and I see several rows across the top of some of the frames that I believe are capped honey, but I could be wrong. They are completely white, so I'm wondering if they are really capped brood. My understanding is that the capped brood should have been in a circle pattern in the middle of the frame, so that's why I was thinking that this is honey for feeding the larvae. We also see some larger cells, not anywhere near the size of the queen cells, and larvae are being fed. Are those drones? There are also larvae in the queen cells being actively fed.
I'm thinking it's already too late to stop them if they are intent on swarming. SO.... do we punt and re-queen as soon as possible? Since it's our first year and we are enjoying the bees and not set on the business side of this, what's the downside to letting nature take its own course? Will the natural replacement queen be genetically inferior?
These are Italian bees, in case it matters.