Blue Purple Hive Queen Cell Check

This weekend I opened the Blue/Purple hive to check on the condition of the two fully capped queen cells I left in the hive two weeks ago.

Pictured below are the two queen cells I left. You can see there is a bee entering the side of the one on the left, and the one on the right has had it's bottom neatly chewed off.

When the bees moved out of the way, I could see the fully developed (but dead) queen laying in the cell to the  left. I think what happened is the queen on the right hatched out, went over and killed the one on the left before it could hatch.

I was feeling excited! They raised their own queen, and now I'll have a nice, young queen of survivor stock!

Then I looked at the bottom bars of the brood boxes and discovered a capped queen cell. Hard to see from this picture, so I circled it. It's definitely not a drone cell, it's bigger and shaped like a hanging peanut.

The questions started flooding my mind:
  • Why a new queen cell?
  • This one looks like a swarm cell (by placement)?
  • Did the queen in the queen cell with the neatly chewed off bottom die already? .
  • Did the hive not think the original queen cells would be viable and made more?
  • If so, why hasn't the newly hatched queen gone and killed this queen cell too?
  • Is it even possible this is new? There wasn't any laying queen in the hive for a good week, and there were no fresh eggs. Maybe this one isn't new, and is as old as the two pictured side-by-side above?
  • If it is swarm cell, do I remove it not knowing if I have a mated queen yet or not?
  • If it is swarm, will the colony swarm before the virgin queen returns from mating and starts laying?
Because it was too soon for the newly hatched queen (if indeed there was one still alive) to have had mating flights and return to lay eggs, I wasn't sure if I had a queen or not yet.

I decided not to tear down this capped queen cell I saw. I figured the bees know best.

I'm hoping I have a viable queen, and she'll soon find the capped cell and kill the developing queen inside of it, unless she did already and the worker bees just haven't torn it down yet.

Boy I sure hope they're not fixing on swarming!

The two supers they have are getting full, so I added a third (dark green) pictured below.

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