2nd year beekeeper. One of 2 hives survived the winter (10 frame w/foundation, double deep). Added 2 new packages this year...one in the dead out and one in new 8 frame foundationless mediums (trying to save my back and experiment with foundationless).
All colonies were doing well. Surviving hive so well that I planned to do a split. A family emergency took me away for a week but I added a super before leaving to give them more room. Upon returning, rainy weather kept me out of the hives for a few days. When the weather cleared I planned to do the split but that the day I saw a cloud of bees gather in front of the hives. It took them a few minutes to organize then off they went. I followed them across several acres of trees and open fields hoping to spot their staging area and maybe retrieve them. But i lost them in a heavily wooded area.
I checked the hives. The new colonies seem intact and doing well so the swam must have been from the survivors. I saw that they had done nothing in the new super. I didn't do a frame by frame check for fear of disturbing them too much after the swarm but saw that both deeps are pretty full. Clearly they were too crowded.
I think I should proceed with the split to prevent another swarm and losing the rest.
Question: Should I wait to see evidence of a new queen before splitting?
I am concerned that one group may have the resources to re-queen and the other won't. Maybe that is ok and I can buy a queen if they don't produce one themselves. But am also concerned that they may re-queen and swarm before I get a chance to relieve the overcrowding.
Any suggestions or advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.