bjorn, that is an excellent example.
i'd add to what you wrote that it is often a first year beekeeper that finds queen cells (supercedure or swarming), and doesn't feel confident about finding the queen (and may not be able to do so). this also is likely someone with one (hopefully two) brand new hives who has spent a bunch of money already, and doesn't want to hear that they now need to buy a nuc box with a bottom board, inner cover, and telescoping cover (and perhaps some more frames...i know when we started we had the exact amount of frames to fit our boxes).
i now keep cheap nuc boxes on hand (both the waxed cardboard and plastic folding boxes) so that there is something available for new beeks who are facing this situation without placing a rush mail order, without me lending out equipment, and with minimal expense on their part.
if you are unable to find the queen (and you have cells on more than on frame..preferably capped so they don't have to be fed), setup a small nuc with each frame.
as a new beek (and even as an experienced one) it isn't always obvious if you are dealing with swarming or supercedure (with a brand new hive with a brand new queen, if there is plenty of room, it is likely a supercedure). also, there is no guarantee that any queen will return from a mating flight. setting up 2 or 3 "mating nucs" will increase mating odds (more queens going out to mate), and it _may_ reduce the swarming urge (again, assuming you can't find the queen, she is now in one of the mating nucs, the parent hive, or perhaps she has already swarmed or died).
this interrupts the normal "first year of beekeeping" that most books (and bee schools) teach you to expect...but as bjorn says, new beeks follow the conventional advice and end up queenless ALL THE TIME.
this is another one that i think is covered better in our book than in most: (again, we hold the copyright to all this, so there is no issue with me posting it. there may be some small differences between this and what is in the book, i've pased the copy we submitted) Please note that the following is from a beekeeping book designed for beginners:
"If you find queen cells (not cups, but see eggs or larvae in the cups or see capped queen cells): You should try to determine if they are swarm cells or supersedure cells. If the bees have plenty of room, and they start to make queen cells within several weeks of starting the hive, they are probably supersedure cells, and it means that the bees, for one reason or another, think that the current queen is unsuitable and needs replacing. We always recommend letting the bees supersede when they want to.
If there are several frames of brood and the hive is strong, you can split off the laying queen to form a nuc. Minimally, you’ll need a frame of mostly capped brood (and its adhering bees) and a frame of honey. The queen will continue to lay and be in reserve while the new queens in the parent hive fight to the death, and the survivor successfully completes her mating flights.
Many things can go wrong before the new queen starts to lay, and it’s nice to have the old queen in reserve. If the new queen doesn’t make it or proves to be a poor layer, you can recombine the nuc with the old queen into the hive. You can make a similar kind of split if you find several frames with queen cells on them. Place each frame into a separate nuc, let each of the queens mate, and you’ll have established several new[md]though small[md]colonies.
If the queen cells are found in a very populous hive with little room for the queen to lay, and especially when they are found on the outside of the broodnest and on the bottoms of frames, they are more likely swarm cells. At this point, the hive has already decided to swarm.
Many beekeeping resources instruct you to destroy queen cells if you find them. Don’t listen to them.
All too often the queen has either already left with a swarm, or is about to do so. Cutting queen cells out of such hives leaves them hopelessly queenless, meaning that they have no resources from which to raise a new queen. If you find queen cells, and you think the hive will swarm, put the old queen (and no queen cells) with a few frames of bees and stores in a nuc or 10-frame box. Leave the queen cells in the original hive and open up the broodnest. The old queen is unlikely to swarm from a small nuc with limited population, and the new queens get a chance to mate. This gives you insurance against mating problems because you can always recombine the nuc with the parent hive.
It won’t often be clear if queen cells are for swarming or for supercedure. You will have to use your judgment. If you see 20 queen cells in the hive, they are probably swarm cells[md]anything less is more ambiguous."