Hi all, My name is Devin and I was hoping you all might be able to give me some help as I am a new bee keeper. I belong to a bee keeping association but it is rather small so the more experienced bee keepers are very tough to get a hold of (normally 1 weeks worth of time before a response). I have heard the old saying of ask 10 bee keepers a question you will get 13 different answers. I am fine with that and figure different opinions won't hurt. Since I am new to beekeeping I know I am not great at spotting queens. The club did me no favors either by ordering unmarked queens with the packages for they believe they might think the colony might feel she is defective and kill her. I was not even able to spot her in that smaller cage from the packages I bought. I have probably done every new beekeeper mistake in the book: dropping the queen cage down in the package of bees, getting stung on the neck when installing the packages to hives because one got under the veil, to having to release a queen from the queen cage and unsure if she flew away when I opened it. All of my mistakes aside I really want to be good at this. I have two hives, one with 3 medium supers and one with 2 deeps (yes another mistake, not standardizing all equipment). My colony in the mediums is very strong, while my colony in the deeps are not so strong. When i installed my packages the colony in the mediums was able to release the queen from her cage. The colony in the deep was not able to and i had to release the queen manually. I do not know if this is any indication that the colony is not as strong but i can only speculate while comparing the two hives in their current state. I decided to go with the Perico plastic foundation, I read reviews saying this is sometimes an issue with the bees, some don't like plastic foundation or take longer to adapt to it over wax. Again, the hive with the mediums has drawn out almost 2 mediums worth of comb while the colony in the deep have drawn out maybe 1/5th of 1 frame. I think i figured out the issue, the inner cover was restricting movement along the top of frames to the frame feeder (solution: flip the inner cover upside down to allow more room for the bees to roam across the top. Comb production has increased at a faster rate). Now of the little comb in the deep hive, the bees have already started to fill it with bee bread and a clear honey(?), maybe nectar from flowers. I do not see any larvae anywhere in this hive. The bees have been in the hives for a little less than 3 weeks. My other hive, the hive with the mediums, has lots of bee bread and honey/nectar sitting in the comb. I also have larvae that are capped. These larvae are in a cluster and not randomly scattered on different frames (at least from what i could tell). What has me surprised about this hive is, I have 3 queen cells. These queen cells are on the uppermost medium (not near the bottom entrance, i read that when near the bottom it is for swarming). Does this mean that i do not have any queens in that hive even with the cluster of larvae? I know its a little random for a queen cell to be on a different frame away from larvae cluster. Which brings me to my questions: 1) I am assuming the workers laid the eggs but if they are clustered together isn't that a trait of a queen? Wouldn't workers lay larvae in random locations and not cluster them? 2) since I have multiple queen cells and haven't spotted a queen in either hive, should i try and transplant one of those queen cells to the other hive? If so i will start Googe'ing/ youtube'ing how to do so. 3) Will my bees continue to build comb and forage for food even without the presence of a queen? I know bee bread is what they feed larvae. Should i assume that my hive with deeps is preparing that to feed the larvae and would that mean there is a presence of a queen? I would assume that bees would do their job even in the event of no queen. 4) My bees are Italians I was inspecting the hive and noticed that there were other bees that had a significant less amount of brown bands on their abdomen with more of the abdomen predominantly black and less brown bands. Did another colony/ species move in or would this be similar to facial characteristics of humans, every bee is unique? ( I know this sounds stupid, but the last thing i want is another species of bee's fighting with my colony over who has the rights to stay). 5) Since some larvae are laid and if workers did this, did one of the workers turn to a queen? Will she stay a queen? I don't want these queens to fight or swarm. (Need some help on this). I know i have a lot of questions but i was really not expecting to have all of these issue happen my first year. I was expecting the packages to go in, and everything to be fine. Thank you for your help and expertise. All advice is appreciated.