A quick update In case anyone was on the edge of their seat regarding my queen cell situation – The bees have resolved it themselves. I was not able to find the queen herself, but freshly laid eggs lead me to believe the hive is in good shape. This means that either the bees swarmed and I missed it, or the reigning queen put an end to the competition herself.
One thing I am coming to understand about Beekeeping is that less is more when it comes to interfering with the hive. The bees have been around way longer than we have, and while our egos might prefer otherwise, they do pretty well without us. It is not our role to play god to the bees.
It’s important to remember that we involve ourselves in the process because of our desire for honey, wax, and other bee-goods, and anything else we do should be small, beneficial actions to compensate them for what we take. Think of it as a goods-for-services exchange.