Hello, all! New to posting but I've been lurking for quite a while. There is so much experience and wisdom on this forum that I'm hoping for some advice for an unexpected development in one of my new TBH's.
On April 30, I installed two 2 pound packages (that was all I could get locally) into two empty TBH's. Today I did an inspection and found NINE capped queen cells in Hive 1. The queen cells are in various places on the face of the comb. There is quite a bit of capped worker brood, about 2-3 dozen capped drone brood, and the rest is backfilled with pollen, nectar, and the syrup I've been feeding. No eggs or larvae that I can see.
I'm not good at finding the queen yet, but at my last inspection about 10 days ago I noticed a queen cup on the edge of one comb but didn't give it much thought, since the package was just installed and they had plenty of space (7 empty bars, comb on 6 more). I did split the brood nest with a single empty top bar, just in case. That empty bar has been drawn out about 50% in that time and there are no eggs or larvae in it.
So I figure they are either:
1. Preparing to swarm (I didn't think a new package with lots of space would do that?)
2. Superceding the queen (do they normally build so many cells to supercede?), or
3. Emergency replacing the queen (not sure how she would have been lost, and again do they normally build so many?)