I performed this seasons first thorough hive inspection on our two backyard hives today. The first hive looked pretty good with all stages of brood and a booming population and what seems to be enough stores. The second hive was quite different. This hive went into winter being possibly queenless. General consensus of the bee club was to leave it since it was so late in the season and reevaluate come spring. The population was about medium with good stores. There was absolutely zero sign of brood or eggs and no queen that I could find. In the top box in the center of one frame was a freshly made and empty queen cup. Next to the cup was a sealed queen cell. I'm really confused how there is a sealed queen cell when there are absolutely no eggs in the hive. Have they run out of options and just hoping for a miracle? I traded a frame of eggs from the other hive for a frame of honey in hopes that they can get queenright. Any thoughts about all this?