My daughter saw a gathering of bees (say 20/30) swirling in the air outside her room for minute or so- she heard them first through a closed window actually - and I suspect it was the virgin queen being escorted from the hive by some noisy drones. It wouldn’t be any of my hives swarming as I have been thorough at trying to prevent it - plus too few bees.
I pre-emptively split a hive on Sunday the 1st October. On Friday the 6th October, I checked the queenless split and found some emergency queen cells, as expected. The smallest cell had been capped, but the other larger ones were still open. I have seen different opinions on whether or not to kill that first closed queen at that stage, but decided to let the bees sort it out. I calculated the queen to first fly today (18th) or tomorrow (19th) - so yesterday (17th) was a little earlier than I expected. Perhaps they rushed making that first one or perhaps it wasn’t her at all.