I picked up a 5 frame nuc about a mont ago (6/8) and installed them into my first top bar hive. This past Saturday, when I went through the hive, I was unable to find the queen. I could very well have missed her, but more alarming was that I also saw 3 or 4 swarm cells and possibly 1 supersedure cell. Iím not completely sure on that last one, it could have just been normal (but lumpy) comb, but Iím certain there were swarm cells.
Just to give some info on how the hive is doingÖ When I installed the 5 frames, I added one empty bar in front, and put the follower board right around the middle, so they have plenty of room. Theyíve started to draw new comb on that first bar and the bar after the 5 nuc bars. I feel like they might be going a little slow, but I'm inexperiences, so maybe it's about right. I havenít seen eggs, but being so new to this, that does not mean they arenít there. I don't know that I always remember everything I'm supposed to be looking for. I did see larvae on Saturday, so I think that means she was there and laying within the last week or so.
So, my thought was to go back in this week and confirm or deny if the queen is gone. If I do find her, what would you recommend I do? Should I do anything about the swarm cells? On the other hand, if I donít find her, should I just allow a new queen to hatch and see what happens? Or would it be better to try to find a new mated queen?