I saw queens in both hives. There were a few eggs too but not many. I am thinking it is a combination of poor conditions here and poor queens. I thought the queens would be a little young to be failing and superceded. I was wondering if it is likely the bees kill the old queen, or the two fight it out? My first concern was there would be a swarm and reduce numbers even more, but none of the signs mentioned above are there. I suppose I will find out soon. I'm hoping for supercedure to see if things improve.
There was a comment made by an experienced beek that queens have not been very good for the past couple of years, and often not properly mated, and to hang onto a good queen if you have one. I don't know if that's true or not, but for now I'll hang onto to that stumpy looking queen with the mean bees and the five frames of brood.
I had an offer of taking a hive to town yesterday, where things are booming, and even the possum box on the hill has split the sides with all the bees. So I'll take the other weak hive, the one without the queen cell, and if it doesn't rain too much I suppose I'll see if the patchy brood has been due to poor conditions.