Very surprising. I got 16 mated queens last week. A week before I did a semi split of the hives. I divided the resources between the top and bottom deeps, placed the original queens in the bottom and added a queen excluder, then put the top deep on.
When the queens arrived, I moved the top box onto a bottom board at different location in the yard, chose two frames of brood….there were no queen cells on it at that time…… and sandwiched the capped queen cage between them. Two days later I opened the new hive to uncap the cage and allow the bees to eat through the candy.
And here we are….9 days after a queen was last on those frames with what appear to be swarm cells. They were the real deal with larvae floating on royal jelly.
I am scratching my head.