Today I revisited a yard that I inspected on Saturday. I don't usually inspect so often, but here's why. I work with the 4-H as the project leader for beekeeping, and in return I get to use the space for my hives. Upon inspection, an open cell caught my eye that we had accidentally torn pulling one of the frames out. It had enough royal jelly to feed a queen, and I was certain it was a queen cell. I didn't mention it to the kids because we were long into the hive and it was time to close it up. They had had enough excitement (bees and kids) for one day.
Sure enough, today I found a few queen cells, so I needed to deal with that. But as I ran through my colony, I wasn't finding any eggs in worker cells. Lot's of drone larvae and some eggs, and for a while I didn't know what to think. I think the worker cells had been back-filled with nectar and there was nowhere for her to lay. Then, as I was pretty tired + frustrated I saw my queen in the freshly added medium I provided on Saturday. It was the top box. There was quite a bit of nectar in the comb, but there were 2-3 frames with eggs everywhere. I thought, "OK, there's my queen, but I still have the QC's to deal with." I decided to place the queen with bees, brood, and food in a new medium. Something around 3-4 frames of bees. They'll be fine, but here are few questions I've got:
I am sort of puzzled by the queen cells. Were they supercedure or swarm cells? There were only a few of them, but they were on the bottom of the frame like a swarm cell. The colony is solid with lots of bees. I would think there would have been more swarm cells. I found the queen laying eggs in the top box I had added a few days ago, and there were eggs everywhere - worker cells. A ton of drone brood in the bottom brood chamber as well. She seems like she is still laying well. I am guessing they were going to swarm. Any ideas on that?
Also, as a new-ish (4th season) beekeeper without anybody showing me the ropes, sometimes I just do what I think is best in the moment, but then I hear someone with experience and have an "Ah-Ha" moment. What would you have done with this situation? Kept the queen in the mature colony? Moved the QC's to a new nuc/hive? Crushed the QC's? Nothing? Would love to hear what some of you would have done.