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Here is a link to a VERY pic heavy album of my inspection 2 days following a swarm that I wasn't able to capture. There is NO open brood and although my husband didn't grab a pic of it I believe there is still a capped swarm cell in the hive. I am feeling REALLY out of my depth as a second year beekeeper. I didn't spot the virgin queen and I am not sure how long to let them go before I intervene by bringing in a purchased queen. I am so bummed this is happening in the middle of a flow...even if the brood break is probably a great thing considering I spotted a handful of varroa in these pics. While I was doing the inspection I tore open a drone cell and one of the workers immediately stole the varroa off the larvae and took off lol.

Anyway...I would love advice because my amateur opinion of this hive currently is that the brood nest is pollen bound and I may or may not have a laying queen eventually IF my virgin queen is alive at all. I'm convinced there was a successful hatch because I heard piping in the hive on the day of the swarm and upon this inspection, found several other cups torn open from the sides.

Let me know what I can do! Thanks in advance.

http://imgur.com/a/Hw08E
 

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My suggestion to you is, do nothing! You have already fiddled around more than is really for the best. The bees will nearly always do fine if the keeper doesn't "fix" things beyond repair. Study the pics you already have, sit on your hands, take a long walk or a cold shower. It can be pretty frustrating not knowing what's going on, but it really is better to leave them alone for 30 to 40 days, unless you have a solid reason to suspect a problem. It actually is just part of the fun.
 

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If they just swarmed, no virgin yet, the capped cell is your future queen. I looked at pics, look likes they should have a virgin, check back in two weeks for eggs
 

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I don't think you need to worry about being pollen bound either. There are quite a few capped brood cells remaining on the frames. When those workers emerge there will be plenty of empty cells for the new queen to lay in. They will move stores around as needed.
 

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I was always told, by a more seasoned beek, to wait 28 days after the swarm, if no queen, get one. This worked for me last year. Even though they left 8 or 9 queen cells after the swarm, I waited 28 days, performed an inspection and there were no eggs or larva etc. I had a queen shipped in and the hive survived the winter.

Just think of all the things that can go wrong with that queen flying out for her mating flight, and you won't sleep. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was always told, by a more seasoned beek, to wait 28 days after the swarm, if no queen, get one. This worked for me last year. Even though they left 8 or 9 queen cells after the swarm, I waited 28 days, performed an inspection and there were no eggs or larva etc. I had a queen shipped in and the hive survived the winter.

Just think of all the things that can go wrong with that queen flying out for her mating flight, and you won't sleep. Good luck.
I already lost sleep over it last night! lol.
 

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I don't think you need to worry about being pollen bound either. There are quite a few capped brood cells remaining on the frames. When those workers emerge there will be plenty of empty cells for the new queen to lay in. They will move stores around as needed.
What is interesting to me is that the overall hive population seems the same as before the swarm. If I hadn't seen the swarm I would have just thought they were trying to replace a failing queen.
 

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What is interesting to me is that the overall hive population seems the same as before the swarm.
That's very common. Many times after a strong hive swarms and 30-40% of the bees are gone you really can't tell the difference. That's when mistakes can be made.

All of the bees appear to still be in the hive, there are capped queen cells, and the assumption is made that the queen is still in there. All of the queen cells are cut out in an effort to stop the swarm. But the queen is already gone, there are no eggs or young larvae remaining, and the colony is unable to produce a new queen. A month later there's a lot of head scratching going on, wondering what went wrong.
 
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