I thought I had a queenless hive, so last Monday (the 19th) I pulled a frame from another yard which had young brood and eggs along with nurse bees. Earlier today I checked the "queenless" hive; the bees had obediently made queen cells, one of which was complete and two others within a day or 2 of being completed.
I was quite pleased, and started to close up this hive, when I saw a queen walking around. I did not have enough resources at that time to take any action, so I closed up the hive.
This queen was quite thin (ready for a swarm?) and as she waltzed around the workers responded to her, following her and touching her as one would expect.
I am getting boxes and frames ready for tomorrow, and will be going back into this hive. Last week when I had inspected this hive, I saw NO eggs, and no uncapped brood. There was little capped brood.
If tomorrow I see that she has resumed laying (in the bottom box), I plan to leave her behind, and split, taking the queen cells, moving them to a different yard. I will add some frames to open up some space for her to lay, and hopefully there will be no swarm.
If however, I see NO eggs and/or brood, I plan to pull her and some frames with bees, and put them in a nuc, moving them to a different yard.
I would appreciate any comments as to what others would do with this scenario.