I have a hive that went very strong into the winter. There are still a ton of bees in the hive. However, on March 10, we had a warm day and I opened the hive. The queen was only laying drones. Drones EVERYWHERE. I found single eggs in every cell that had an egg in it - no sign of a laying worker. This was a nuc from 2012 that I had purchased. I wondered if the queen were short bred, but didn't do anything at that time and just gave the hive a frame of brood and eggs from another thriving hive.
On Monday, April 1, I noticed that the ground outside the hive was littered with the bodies of drone brood that had been ripped out of their cells. I opened the hive.
Inside there was still only drone brood. I found the old queen whose wings were chewed and ragged. She had a yellow dot, indicating that she was indeed a 2012 queen. I also found an opened queen cell that had been opened at the tip.
So my theory is that they have a new queen but she isn't mated yet or isn't laying yet, but they are optimistic enough that they are almost ready to eject the old queen. They are chewing off the wings of the queen so that when they eject her, she can't fly. They also are carrying out the drones so as not to use the resources of the hive to take care of the drones when a new queen is about to lay worker brood and get the hive back on its bee legs again.
What do you think? Any other theories?
Linda T in Atlanta