Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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Looks like my hive swarmed, so now what?

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Looks like my hive swarmed, so now what?

Background: my hive was thriving all summer, in fact, 3 weeks ago I did an inspection and started winterizing, I had bees for days (pic 2 of album). 2 weeks ago I did and inspection, tons of bees, I even found my queen rather quickly. It was dreary out so I was satisfied with finding my queen that I only pulled a few frames and closed up shop. I wasnt able to do an inspection last week due to my schedule and weather, but I figured they were fine. Today I noticed there wasnt much activity at the front door so I went to investigate. Top deep was packed full of honey and sugar syrup, every frame, all capped. There was not, however, very many bees. Opened up the lower box, slightly more bees, but collectively, less than I started with back in April. I had a few frames of capped honey then the regular brood frames with a nice honey ring and bee bread, and a ton of empty cells. I look for eggs, maybe found 10? But honestly they could have been beetles, since they have been an issue for a few weeks. So I searched hi and low for.my queen, but nothing. Instead I found 3 queen cells bundled together (pic 1), one capped, one empty and one with a half emerged dead queen. So my question is, now what? It's late October, it's getting chilly out and I probably have a pound and a half of queen less bees.

http://imgur.com/a/rEWF1TD

Edit: Update: Turns out the local beekeeper was in his bee yard right as the store owner text him. Hes pulling me a queen today, I'm going to also fill him in and see if this is my best option.

Edit 2: talked to the beekeeper. He said he'd sell me a queen, but thinks itd be a big gamble. He liked the idea u/lockndamn suggested. Down sizing to a nuc and hope that one of my queen cells hatches and mates in time for winter. I'm also ordering a new package of bees from him just in case. Best case I can move them into my empty hive, worse case I have a package of bees ready for my dead hive.

Thanks everyone for the advice!

submitted by /u/Probably_Capable
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