This is the first time I have had marked Queens...the start of my second season.
I got 4 packages this year...marked the Queens. When I went into the hives. Few weeks later there were Queen cells ,not many...mid frame. I presumed they were supercedure cells. One hive failed and ended up Queenless. I purchased them a marked Queen. She is no longer to be seen but there were eggs, brood and an unmarked Queen...which I grossly marked with what seemed to be a high pressure Queen marking pen!
On checking the other 3 packages..no marked Queens to be seen but there was brood.
Two of my over wintered hives ended up Queenless. First I purchased them mated Queens, they both dispatched these at some point after a slow release as no brood. I purchased a second set of Queens! One had eggs but occasionally 2 or 3 in a cell. Only on 1 frame. Oddly there never seemed to be Ny brood...just eggs on 1 frame. There was a Queen. The other failed yet again.
In the end I moved the useless Queen to sit in a nuc and gave both hives brood to see if they will make their own Queens. If successful...good weather and lots of drones about ...perhaps they will like them.
I have 2 hives that were doing well. I presume they swarmed...stores, capped brood, no open brood, no Queen and what looked like emerged Queen cells. I don't have dates as never saw the swarm. I gave each a frame of open brood.
How do hives that have virgins out on mating flights treat open brood. Do they ignore it or start Queen cells which I presume get torn down if a properly mated Queen returns.
It would be much simpler if the bees weren't so picky about their Queen!