First off, I want to thank this forum. From all the reading I did hear, I really think it helped me save this laying worker hive.
Despite re-queening this hive at the end of May, the laying worker(s) just seemed to dominate this hive, despite being queen-right. By early July the hive was mostly drone brood. I decided to save it by shaking the frames about 65 feet away from the hive and start putting in a frame of brood and eggs weekly from another hive. I tore the hive apart and put all the frames in the shakeout area. Then I put a queen excluder on the bottom and top of the deeps so the drones and maybe the dud queen wouldn't get back into the hive. I shook and brushed each frame and then walked over and put them back in the hive. A lot of bees returned, enough that I needed the two deeps it originally had. I then traded a frame of eggs and brood from a good hive I had. I added a frame of brood and eggs each week for three weeks. They never once tried to make a queen cell. After the third week I bought yet another queen and let them release her into the hive. This time she was a good one and I now have 6 frames of brood and 3.5 frames of honey. They are starting to draw out some fresh comb in the upper deep but they are not laying or storing in it yet. (As the bee numbers dwindled, I eventually moved the original upper deep to a nuc/hive that was really taking off)
I am feeding and it looks like they might be in good shape for winter.
But there is more to the story.
The next day after the shakeout, there was a softball sized clump of bees where I had shaken them. Feeling sorry for them I decided to put them into a nuc and fed them and see what would happen. We sure enough the dud queen was in the pile and in 10 days she started laying, but this time a good tight pattern on worker brood. I have been feeding this nuc since then and they have built up to about 3.5 frames of brood/bees, but little honey or pollen.
So now the question. It seems reasonable that I should combine the nuc back to it's original hive so they have good numbers before winter and feed, feed, and feed some more. Does that sound reasonable? If so, what would be the best way to combine a nuc with a hive? Just exchange frames or some kinda newspaper method? Should I let the queens decide who lives or should I off one.