Lost both my hives this winter, ordered two new packages. They arrived with lots of dead bees, and one queen cage had a live queen but all dead workers. Supplier told me it was my fault for accepting them from the post office, refused to do anything.
Three weeks later, both hives have lots of capped drone brood, no worker brood. I just got two new queens but don't know how to install without the worker queens killing them. One beekeeper told me to shake out the hives and hope the worker doesn't make it back, the other said that he has never seen that work. Both said that the hives were unlikely to accept the queens now that they have accepted the worker bee as their queen. That was a surprise to me.
In discussions with one of my beekeeping guys, I concocted an idea, probably crazy, so please make other suggestions. My idea is contingent on the assumption that there is only one laying worker. If there are more, then I'm toast.
I have two hives now, hive A and hive B. I propose taking 3 frames out of hive A (the bigger hive with about 6 total drawn frames) and put them in a nuc. So the laying worker is now in either hive A or the nuc. Then I put one queen cage in the nuc and one in hive A. At the same time, I do a paper combine of hive A and hive B.
Plan B is give up and try to find some swarms. :-(