At the weekend we checked the bees, so a quick update ( to be corrected this evening, if I have misunderstood all that was happening.... I'm still learning ! )
The hive housing the prime swarm is progressing well. The queen is busy laying and the young bees have started emerging over the past week or so, increasing the numbers dramatically. Their stores are building up nicely, although it appears they have been feeding from them during the recent wet spell. Stores which had been laid down in the brood box are being moved to the super, giving the queen more space to lay.
The original hive from which the swarm left hasn't fared so well. The first queen to emerge from the queen cells, left on her mating flight and returned to the hive to lay a few eggs but for some reason, maybe she was injured or died, supercedure cells were built.
Towards the end of last week there were no sign of eggs and the number of original bees was dwindling. So we decided this weekend to move the remaining bees into a nuc. box, for warmth, add a frame of emerging bees and larvae from the prime hive and order a new queen.
On inspecting the hive at the weekend, however we discovered a small patch of newly laid eggs. We are fairly sure they haven't been laid by worker bees, as they have been laid singularly at the bottom of the cells - workers have a tendency to lay at the side of the cells and often more than one to each cell. The other possibility, although we won't know until they are capped, is that they are drone eggs laid by an unmated bee.
So for now we have moved all the bees from the hive, the frame with the eggs in, another frame with emerging brood from the other hive and three frames of stores into a nuc. box, placed on the original site of the hive. We have also reserved a newly mated queen, from another beekeeper, available at the weekend just in case.