I pulled a big hive out of a house in late August. Currently they have no queen, no larva or eggs. Not much capped brood left. They are still very active and have been packing away the honey and pollen at a great rate. As of yesterday I saw two capped queen cells, but really don't hold out a lot of hope of them successfully requeening this late in the year. I had a nuc with an older queen and 2 frames of bees so I did a newspaper combine with her and this hive today. I also put a queen excluder with the newspaper. The old queens box has it's own entrance pointing the opposite direction from the big hives entrance which I left as it was.
I had removed the older queen from a hive that didn't have a lot of stores (like none) and had only scattered brood. I requeened that hive and kept this queen as a backup. No sooner did I put her and two frames of bees in a nuc than she started running around and laying a good pattern and the bees with her started putting up honey. Go figure.
My thought was this - if the queen cells hatch and amazingly, one finds a drone to mate with and returns to the hive would she be accepted in the lower larger hive? In the meantime, will the bees accept the other queen above the excluder?
I just am kind of winging this - I would love to get the genetics of this hive as they seem very productive, but know that it is an incredible long shot at this point.