I just started this year and have two hives underway. Both have been performing well with excellent queens.

Today, I did my weekly inspection and as soon as I smoked the entrance on the hotter of the two hives, I thought something I was wrong. I think it swarmed.

There are clearly fewer bees in this hive than there were last week, and I could find very little sign of recently-laid eggs. There was some capped brood and some larvae. Lots of empty brood cells that likely hatched in the last week. I did not see the queen anywhere.

As I pulled through the first box, I noticed two capped queen cells at the bottom of one frame. There were several other queen cells near to being capped at the bottom of frames in the top box.

This would seem to me like a swarm. This was a new package I installed on April 14. It's been a good spring here, and the flow really kicked in over the last 7-10 days.

I'm debating (a) just letting the queen cells hatch and the hive proceed on its own; or (b) ordering a new queen and introducing it and then pulling the frame with the queen cells and dropping it into a nuc along with a frame of brood, pollen and some honey.

Thoughts?



Thanks.