The bees were doing what bees do, confusing their keepers. The bees seem to have begun building comb and with added space were not inclined to swarm. Not being in a swarm mood they destroyed the cells themselves. Raising queens is like balancing the hive on the verge of a swarm.
A few things to try:
add a second frame when you put in the cells having just a starter strip (about 1-2 inches of foundation) on it at the same time so that they'll work that frame in preference to the cell frame.
Use the strongest hive in the bee yard.
Set up a Nuc without a queen just for this purpose and keep the Nuc supplied with bees by pulling brood frames from your other hives. Bees w/o a queen will work harder at growing them.
Remove the wax from some durgalit or the like then cut it into a pattern that will fill the space between the rows of cells--the opposite of a starter strip.
3 out of 30 about a C- for the first try.