Seeking opinions: split went wrong
I have a mentee who’s bees like to keep queen cups around. On his July 1st inspection, however, he spotted that the cells were growing and had Royal jelly in them. Someone in my house had Covid so I couldn’t be there, so I instructed him to build a nuc and make a split, making sure to move the old queen with a frame of capped brood, frame of room to lay, frame of food, and two empty foundation frames (he didn’t have more empty drawn comb at the time) and ensuring none of the frames that come with her have queen cells. He did this on July 2nd. Today he inspected the nuc with the old queen (I’m still not able to join) and said he found one large queen cell on the edge of comb, almost capped, but he believes it’s empty. I know duds happen, but I still found that weird. I’m assuming he missed a day 1 queen cell when he made the split Saturday.
I told him if he’s 100% sure it’s empty, he can cut it out and replace one of the empty frames of foundation with empty drawn comb from the old hive. But what would you do if it’s not empty and he truly missed one last week? Make another nuc box and move the queen again? Do a taranov split on the nuc and put both halves back in the same nuc box once the queen cell’s removed? Distance/ quarantine mentoring is hard 😬. Thanks in advance.