Absconding is not a rare situation with packages anymore. Our club has had quite a few ordered packages abscond this year --- to the point of mentioning using a different supplier next year.
Why do they abscond
I think only the bees know.
I believe what you are calling queen cells may be the start of empty queen cups. Some bees pull more than others. Some keep them all the time.
>Look like drone cells along the bottom for sure.
Or are they drone cells from a drone layer etc. I am curious to hear what others have to say.
Sorry you have had such bad luck this go around. Hang in there it will get better