I have a hive I suspect has laying workers. This colony was a swarm captured in early October, they were doing well in the first month.
This is what I observed yesterday :
- patchy brood, some capped worker cells, mainly drone cells
- all brood frames have a lot of drone cells
- there were very few drone bees (if any)
- there were a few queen cells
- bees were quite calm, able to inspect without smoking
- some cells had two eggs
I did not spot a queen, two queen cells were open, but I could not tell if they had hatched recently.
Three weeks ago, I saw a single queen cell that was almost ready to hatch. I assumed they were superceding the old queen?
This picture shows the brood, the other frames have a similar pattern.
Rather than shake the bees out, I think I will leave them for another week and check them again?
Perhaps they are having some difficulty raising a new queen?
My other hives are still building up after splits, so don't think I can spare frames of brood right now. May be I can spare one.
Any advice appreciated.