Two of the three colonies I have right now were started with swarms captured in the last three or four months. All seem to be bustling with busy bees; all are bringing in loads of nectar and pollen. The oldest swarm-start recently needed to have a second brood chamber added. The most recent is less than a month old in a five frame setup (ten-frame box with division boards installed to keep the volume low until brood starts to hatch).
So, a couple of old-timers at a meeting I went to earlier this month were saying (and I'm paraphrasing, here) that since swarms were always accompanied by the old queen from their former colony, the beek should replace her because she's already a year old and will be drying up pretty soon.
Is there any credence to what they said? Is a queen who leads a swarm almost past her prime? I like to listen to experience, but that didn't sound right.