I am beginning to challenge the notion that supercedure cells in reproductive (white wax) season means the queen is failing. It may mean the bees want to reproduce their colony. It may also mean the queen is failing (!) but I think we have to stop making the assumption it ALWAYS means the queen is failing.
I typically see "volcano" cells after the queen has emerged, and the bees are beginning to tear down the queen's cell. At some point, all you can see is the large opening that formed the cup.\
check it in a day or two to see if they have developed the cell downward. Look in the base of the cup to see if there is milky royal jelly there.
They do build a lot of empty cups for no apparent reason. I don't know if they are practicing or what. It seems the stronger the hive the more they build. Seems like a lot of wasted labor.
I don't worry unless I find capped queen cells on the bottom of the frames.
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