Went into my hives today with 2 newbees with the intention of splitting 3 of them. The hives are soooooo strong and populated, it's unbelieveable! I actually robbed a box of honey off hive #1 and gave them an empty brood box because the population is so crowded that the girls are actually jammed into the slatted rack as well as the boxes! Problem is, we found only one queen cell--and that was a supercedure cell. Don't know why that hive wants to supercede their queen because she's laying beautifully, nice and tight. Saw larva and eggs as well. We wound up giving that cell to the weakest of the 4 hives who, last time I went in (about 2 weeks ago), had a queen and the newbees with me that time were so excited to see her! I think the queen met her end somehow because now there are no worker cells, larva or eggs. All that's in there are drone cells, most of which were in the process of hatching, so since it takes 21 days for a worker to hatch and 24 for a drone, the queen must've died about 3 days ago, right? Anyway, we put the queen cell in there and the workers started tending to it right away. It was not defensive, quite thankful and happy to see a chance to survive. Hoping I did right there. Now as for the other three boxes who are jam packed, I always let the girls raise their own queens and it's obvious these 3 boxes have very productive queens because all 3 hives have lots of capped brood, larva and eggs, all in the classic tight circle that a good queen lays. Plenty of pollen, nectar and capped honey as well. They are extremely crowded and I don't know what to do. I don't want to buy queens. Should I just wait a while and check for queen cells again? Should I give them another box so they can spread out? Bet I get lots of answers to this one. One good thing about having such crowded hives: we saw noSHB and only 2 mites on one drone pupa.