This is my first season, and I just hived my nucs this past weekend. Two of the three seem OK, but one had fewer frames of bees than the others and a fully capped queen cell.
I don't know if there's a queen or not (I didn't see it, but I'm inexperienced, so...). There was some sealed brood. I don't remember if there was larvae (I was a bit overwhelmed). I want to go back in and check it out again, but I wanted to let them settle for a day or two after the transfer.
I called the apiary where I bought them and they said (paraphrasing) that they went through the nucs before delivery and all the colonies were strong, and that I could cut out the queen cell or leave it - it didn't matter.
This answer concerns me, because from what I understand that hive has a problem - either it swarmed before I picked it up meaning there's no queen currently, or they're replacing/superceding a missing/bad queen. If I cut the cell out, aren't I risking making the hive queenless? If I leave it, then the new queen is going to have to open mate, which is discouraged by the state due to AHB. In fact, since I'm in a non-agricultural area, the state requires me to have mated queens from an EHB source, and not raise my own.
I guess I'm going to have to cut out the cell, and if I can't find the queen, buy another one and introduce it. Though, I feel like if the nuc wasn't queen right to begin with, maybe the nuc supplier should be providing another queen. Or is that not how it works?
Does my assessment of the situation seem accurate or have I misunderstood/missed something? Does anyone more experienced have advice for a newbee in this situation?