I did a removal last evening from a fallen treee suspended over a stream. The hive was big. I removed all of the honey and wax, but i found almost no brood. Just two frames worth, barely. i put frames in hive body, gathered as many bees as i could and left hive on top of fallen tree. I will go back today. i doubt i got queen. Soo. I have two caged queens for splits. Should i use one as bait for bees. put her in hive, catch as many bees again and leave over nite again? The hive was also infetsed w/ wax worms. About 6lbs of bees werre still left in tree as i couldn't sweep them up either.
Seth, I have been doing quite a few removals lately just as you described, they may be queenless or with a virgin queen. Lots of these colonies are low in number from swarming and the lack of brood could be from a virgin queen or one that didn't make it back.
You could use one of your queens for the bees you removed, varify that you don't have queen from the removal for certain though.
The bees that remain on the tree you could lure with a bait hive.