@Red_Hot_Chilipepper and @Dee
Yes, thank you …I have a reasonably recent new queen as a result of a supercedure. She is laying particularly well now with brood in all stages. There is a chance however that I crushed her with my recent inspection. I heard crunching noises as I lifted the first frame out…I usually do hear these noises unfortunately. I could find no other queen cells amongst the lowest brood box.
I have considered all the replies and am grateful for them, but am inclined to agree, in this case, with @JeffH, that these are emergency queen cells. I agree with others that they are also swarm cells, because, as we all know, bees can swarm on any sort of queen cell given the right conditions. If I hadn’t destroyed the cells, the bees might have swarmed if the conditions are right. I am not in a position (with my experience) to know if the conditions are right of course - unfortunately Also I have found that bees can do unexpected things.
As queens age (in the early weeks), my understanding was that the pheromone levels increase to a point. When these cells were made, I suspect there was a way to go with the pheromone levels. I wasn’t totally surprised to see them, as I had read about the possibility of queen cells being made when the brood is separated from the queen. I didn’t know what distance it would take but as in @JeffH case, we see it took only two flat frames of distance to induce them. My ideal super would seem to be plenty of distance in that case. Lesson learned there- I think!