Weak hive will not expand

I placed 5 nuc frames in my hive - honey, scattered brood, some pollen and a queen. I placed 3 empty frames in around them, 2 on one side 1 on the other. Mid October. After 1 week they were starting to build comb in the one empty frame. Nothing has happened since then - 2 n 1/2 months later. I seem to have a weak hive. (I suspect Queeny might be a bit old). Have been inspecting weekly. Initially they were using the honey but lately looks like they have capped some more. The brood is very scattered, not much pollen, not a lot of larvae.
I left this last inspection for a fortnight and low and behold I have SEVERAL queen cells happening! One is on the bottom. I am hoping my girls are going to produce a new queen.
Q/ Should I squeeze out some of the queen cells or let them sort it out themselves?
Q/ Should I expect some drama in the superceding process?
Q/ Should I move the empty frames to the middle of the colony?
My feeling is that perhaps I should wait and see what happens with a possible new queen. How will I know?

From your summary I would leave well enough alone. Let them requeen naturally. Don’t mess around with the frames. They are weak enough and fiddling with them will just set them back more.

Do they have a beetle or Varorra load? If so treat those, SHB love weak hives.

Good luck

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Thank you. I now think i have a new queen. Got attacked last night for the first time. Really out of character for my normally very gentle girls. I will leave them bee for a while. I’m

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Hi Lindy,
Great news that you have a new queen! While it’s a good idea to give them some space, you may need to check they have enough stores. If you’re getting all that rain up there, the bees won’t be getting out to forage or there may be a mid-summer dearth - I’ve got two hives in one area experiencing this but they will be fine when the manna gums start flowering (hopefully very soon). Also, bees can get very defensive when the light starts to fade at the end of the day. This might explain their agro.
All the best

Aggressiveness can sometimes be a sign of no queen to though. Often as bees breed with feral colonies it tends to be the case they default to a more aggressive nature. Inspecting weekly can be a bit much on the bees, usually it takes around 3 days for the bees to settle, and the inspection has the bees release a pheromone which can actually attract more pests. I would start lining up a new queen to install just in case.