In my yard I have one first-wintered over hive (small) and a wintered over nuc-sized September swarm from that small hive. On inspection a week ago, the small main hive appeared to be queenless so I combined the hives putting the small swarm (with their queen)(a shallow and a super) on top of the small main hive (a medium and 2 supers)using newspaper. Yep, it is kind of tall. Fed them thinking it would entice those in the bottom to come up. Well, checked the top box today and did not go any further because I observed 7 swarm cells (uncapped-unable to see inside them) and 2 queen cells, this was over 3 frames. No eggs, some uncapped, just several capped.
I combined these two weak hives in order to have one strong hive. I also have 2 package hives in the yard as well.
*cut out all swarm cells or leave one
*leave the queen cups?
*do I keep going down through the boxes looking for the queen?
*how can I ever reduce this tower to something a bit more manageable? The current configuration resulted from 2 swarms from this main hive within a 2 week period last Aug/Sept and making due with equipment on hand.