Any explanation for QCs & no brood?!

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One of my hives swarmed on 15th May, previously examined 9th May when they were making swarm preps. I glimpsed the Q very briefly after a long difficult search but couldn't find her again to nuc her.
Time got away from me and they swarmed before I could look again.
I cut them back to 1 QC and left them alone.
I found another swarm on 10th June, looking through my hives the only source I could find was this one. One old emerged QC, looked well "rounded off", 3 freshly emerged QCs, but absolutely no other brood or eggs.
I can only think that the original emerged Q had a problem, laid only a handful of eggs which they used to make QCs - they didn't really look like EQCs though (wish I had sliced neatly into the comb to see now!)
Any other ideas what has gone on here?
 
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One of my hives swarmed on 15th May, previously examined 9th May when they were making swarm preps. I glimpsed the Q very briefly after a long difficult search but couldn't find her again to nuc her.
Time got away from me and they swarmed before I could look again.

To avoid this happening in future, as soon as you have charged cells and any difficulty finding the queen, just

a) move the whole hive to another stand
b) put a nuc (or other box) on the original site, with one frame of open brood including eggs and small larvae and NO QUEEN CELLS, and their accompanying nurse bees
c) fill rest of nuc with one or two frames of stores/pollen, and the rest frames of foundation or drawn comb
d) go have a cuppa, and you have 7 days to work out what you want to do next (and the queen will be much easier to find when you do).
 
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Somewhere else was my 1st thought, but no nearby colonies I know of (though may be some
To avoid this happening in future, as soon as you have charged cells and any difficulty finding the queen, just

a) move the whole hive to another stand
b) put a nuc (or other box) on the original site, with one frame of open brood including eggs and small larvae and NO QUEEN CELLS, and their accompanying nurse bees
c) fill rest of nuc with one or two frames of stores/pollen, and the rest frames of foundation or drawn comb
d) go have a cuppa, and you have 7 days to work out what you want to do next (and the queen will be much easier to find when you do).
Thanks, I could probably have done that. I'm now in a "no boxes left" situation!

It's still hard to reconcile VERY recently emerged QCs (mandible marks visible around the cut edge) with zero brood present.

Is this scenario feasible:
No missed QC on 15, emerged shortly after & got mated quickly. Started laying by 23rd. QCs made with eggs laid on 25th or 26th, but for some reason the bees don't raise any other brood - queens emerge on 20th and one or more form a cast swarm.
No brood is really odd!!
 
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I still have no idea what is going on with this colony!
Examined again on 22nd: no eggs, VERY occasional young larvae eg 2 or 3 on a frame. A single drone cell with a larger larva apparently from a worker cell. Given a test frame of eggs.
Examined again today (27th), no EQCs on test frame, again very occasional larvae 4 or 5 per frame. 2 open QCs.
I've destroyed the 2 QCs as it looks likely they are drone larvae as the only identifiable filled cells (apart from introduced) are drone. I've added a 2nd test frame.
The only thing I can think of is that there a very few laying workers & they have tried to make QCs from drone brood, and haven't made EQCs due to a drone QC being present.
My inclination now is to unite with a fairly strong colony & hope for the best!
Any other ideas?
 

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If I were going to unite these bees with anything I might be tempted just to combine them with a spare nuc if you have one.
 
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I've also been debating making up a mesh board with an entrance above the mesh, to sit on top with a queenright colony on top of that for a few weeks & then unite.
If LW then brood and queen pheromones may bring them back in line.
 
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Well I haven't figured what has been going on. Two test frames some days apart didn't produce any EQCs, there were Very occasional isolated larvae, the older ones all being drones. Another open QC I suspect containing a drone larva as no evidence of worker brood elsewhere (removed).
Yesterday I had a swarm from another hive, so I have united that with this dodgy hive using air freshener. No obvious fighting.
I'll check in a couple of weeks or so to see the state of play! (I'm away for 2 weeks shortly). The last swarm united like this with a probably queenless hive worked well!
 

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To avoid this happening in future, as soon as you have charged cells and any difficulty finding the queen, just

a) move the whole hive to another stand
b) put a nuc (or other box) on the original site, with one frame of open brood including eggs and small larvae and NO QUEEN CELLS, and their accompanying nurse bees
c) fill rest of nuc with one or two frames of stores/pollen, and the rest frames of foundation or drawn comb
d) go have a cuppa, and you have 7 days to work out what you want to do next (and the queen will be much easier to find when you do).
Could somebody explain more in depth about this method please? After you have moved the hive and carried out an artificial swarm what would there be left to do after 7 days? The bees in the nuc would make emergency queen cells and raise a new queen wouldn't they? Thanks in advance.
 
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Could somebody explain more in depth about this method please? After you have moved the hive and carried out an artificial swarm what would there be left to do after 7 days? The bees in the nuc would make emergency queen cells and raise a new queen wouldn't they? Thanks in advance.
The bees in the nuc would raise EQCs but the resultant queen might not be the best as they are all foraging bees so older and less good for producing royal jelly.
However splitting the hive makes the queenright half less likely to swarm as it's lost its flying bees, and when you inspect next there will be a lot less bees to find the queen amongst so easier to find her. You can then eg nuc the queen, reunite the split halves & let them requeen.
At least that's how I'm understanding it!
 
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