Multiple Queen Cells

I am a first year keeper: I purchased a nucleus and everything was growing great The bees are more plentiful than ever, then the other week I decided to do a brood check, when I checked I saw a lot of capped brood, but could not see the queen. My eye for eggs has not quite developed.

The queen that I had purchased originally came with a painted marking on its back, but I had observed that the paint had been slowly wearing off.

So when I saw that the brood box had a lot of capped brood and I couldn’t see the queen I wasn’t very concerned at first I thought maybe I missed her and the paint had rubbed off.

this week I decided to check again and there’s still capped brood but far much less, additionally I saw four or five queen cells that were already capped on the bottom of one frame.

What should I do?

It is August 7th 2019 and I live outside Denver Colorado

Welcome to the forum, you will find lots of reading as well as good advice and tips from experienced bee keepers.
If the queen cells are capped then maybe the queen is either dead or the hive has swarmed. Either way one of the new queens will emerge and go on a mating flight then return to the hive to become a new egg laying queen, there is nothing for you to do in the meantime except relax.
After 4 weeks do a gentle and smooth check for new brood, if your not good at spotting eggs maybe find a local group of a bee keeper who can help check with you.
I’ve had bees for over 45 years and still don’t see eggs till they curve and become a larvae, there is no shame in not spotting the eggs ok.
There is a risk of the queen not making it back to the hive after her mating flight, they are on the diet of some birds so in that case you might buy a queen and introduce her to the colony, but you need to be sure the hive is queen-less or the bees will kill the new queen.
Bees just love to play mind games by making queen cells in a sort of stand-by mode left uncapped. I used to knock them down only to find they remake another, now I just leave them and watch for it being capped.

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Thank you for the advice. That does ease my mind a bit.

Should I be hoping for drones now, something for my queen to mate with? or is it from an outside colony altogether? I’m not sure my area has a bunch of alternate drones just flying around.

What are the chances of those queen cells being a farse? Even though they are capped?

should I try to take one of the multiple capped queen cells and try to put that into a brand new nucleus with a few of my other bees?

Your virgin queen should fly further away from the hive to find drones with different genetics, she won’t mate with her brothers from her hive. Nature has worked it out that when a virgin queen takes her mating flight that the climate is right for drones to be available flying about too.
If the bees have gone to the trouble of making a queen cell and it gets capped you can bank on a new queen in the cell. Yes I have heard of queen cell entrances being made almost closed but not a dry cell capped over, it would be a lot of wasted energy and time wasted. The biggest risk to a queen is on her mating flight by a bird that sees her as a meal.
I don’t know your climate and if you would have enough time left before Winter for a new hive to build up strong enough to survive your cold Winter, putting a ‘few’ bees into a nuc would be a death sentence for them. I live in a sub-tropical climate and do Spring splits and transfer about 1/2 of the bees into a new hive along with stores and at least a frame of both larvae and capped brood and the bees can produce a new queen themselves. Even in my ‘long Summer’ climate I wouldn’t split a first year hive, I would rather leave it to build up into a really strong colony, but that’s me and my way of bee keeping. Over here it would be very rare for a hive to become big enough to do a split in it’s first Summer; and there fore not likely to be a risk of swarming too.

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