I added a frame of brood with a swarm cell on it to a split hive last week that I thought was queenless. Turns out it wasn’t queenless, because by the looks of it, the queen inside the swarm cell was destroyed — stung to death by a queen that was already in the hive, then pulled dead from the swarm cell by worker bees. If a queen had emerged from the swarm cell, the cell would be open on the bottom, not the side (or so I’ve been told). The hive had several frames of freshly capped brood when I checked it yesterday. I don’t think a week old queen could mate and begin laying that fast. Thus ends my interpretation of the above photo. I could be wrong.
Note that adding a frame of brood WITH A SWARM CELL ON IT was not the smartest move. Had the queen in the swarm cell emerged, she probably would have fought the queen that was already present — a fight that often results in two dead queens or one surviving but wounded and weak queen.
Adding a frame of brood would have been better. That way, if the colony was queenless, they could have made a new queen from the open brood. And if it wasn’t queenless, well, extra brood to boost the population is rarely a bad thing for a weak hive.
We got lucky this time.