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I did a extensive examination of a hive that I thought had swarmed. My hive has two deeps for brood and one shallow super with a queen excluder. In inspection there were only a few above the excluder, so I removed and left the super. The hive had definately swarmed about half as many bees as prior. In examination there were some questions that arose. There seemed to be a large ratio of drones to worker bees, maybe 2:1, is this normal after a swarm? I did not see a queen but then again I did not examine all the frames. But there were MANY queen cells, peanut shaped. As many as 3-4 per frame and each frame seemed to have atleast one. Is this a sign that the hive is now queenless and they are waiting for one to emerge? After one emerges will they tear down the other cells? I believed they swarmed due to ventilation and crowding issues. The hive since the swarm has the super on it and plenty of ventilation, so they should not have a desire to swarm again. It almost appears like they are using the uppper brood box as a super, it has mostly capped honey. Any thoughts?

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J.J.
 

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>There seemed to be a large ratio of drones to worker bees, maybe 2:1, is this normal after a swarm?

It's hard to say what's "normal". I've seen a lot of different outcomes. Sometimes most of the drones leave. Sometimes most of them stay. I've never figured out why.

>I did not see a queen but then again I did not examine all the frames.

A virgin queen is VERY hard to find. She's small. She's quick. She's shy. It's unusual to be able to find them.

>But there were MANY queen cells, peanut shaped. As many as 3-4 per frame and each frame seemed to have atleast one. Is this a sign that the hive is now queenless and they are waiting for one to emerge?

Maybe. Maybe there will be several afterswarms, each headed by another of those queens.

>After one emerges will they tear down the other cells?

They will send out afterswarms until they are satisfied that the population is as small as they want it, and then the last queen will probably kill the rest of them. The workers may help.

>I believed they swarmed due to ventilation and crowding issues.

They usually do. But it's usually just a crowded brood nest.

>The hive since the swarm has the super on it and plenty of ventilation, so they should not have a desire to swarm again.

Once they've made up their mind to swarm they will keep sending afterswarms until it's out of their system. The fact that there are still that many cells would worry me.

>It almost appears like they are using the uppper brood box as a super

They usually do. Sometimes the queen lays in it and sometimes she never lays in it.

>it has mostly capped honey. Any thoughts?
Sounds normal
 
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