Its been a bit of a week bee wise, I'm beginning to think they're a full time job, they've certainly been preoccupying my thoughts.
Martin came up this evening to check up on things as we didn't see the queen last week. Ive been keeping an eye on them and certainly bees are buzzing in and out of both hives which is encouraging but it was as well he did check.
The new hive still had a couple of lovely sealed queen cells and signs of another that may have emerged and been resealed. However one of the frames which only had 1 QC last week, there were at least another 3, these had to be removed to prevent castes depleting the colony.
When there are several queen cells in a colony successive 'hatchings' sees that emerging queen taking off with all the flying bees. A few days later another queen emerges and takes off with the newly flying bees. This continues until the final queen remains with a much smaller colony. As bees are super organisms this is in many respects the way they breed.
It wasn't over yet! The original colony had even more sealed and unsealed QCs, this perhaps casts doubt over the original queen still being present. We removed all but 2 of the cells (to reduce castes) and left them for another 7-10 days when we will check again.