Some time ago I shared my adventures with you of Drama Queen, which I tried to replace 3 times. Although she disappeared from the hive the last time we searched for her, I feel sure she will pop up again someplace and continue to haunt me.
Now, she had definitely abandoned her hive, so we decided it was safe enough to install a nice new queen. Maybe the evil of the queen however had infiltrated the hive, because next time I checked, there was nothing but drones. The workers had presumably decided "better the devil queen you know", and done away with the interloper. From memory of what Michael Bush has suggested, the only way to deal with a laying worker is to place a frame of eggs into the hive for 3 weeks. Being busy at the time I managed 2 frames of eggs. I saw they had tried to make queen cells from drone eggs. When I put the 2nd frame of eggs in there were no queen cells at all on the first frame I installed. I'd reduced the hive to a single and plenty of time has passed now that either there is a new queen or it's come time to abandon ship and save what I can from the wreckage. I haven't had the courage to find out yet.
Now, what struck me when I discovered the drones, was the smell. Ever paranoid about AFB and not having smelt it before, that was my first thought. But there were no other signs of AFB in the hive. The only way I can describe the smell is "burnt vegemite". I took to google to find out if drones smell. Nothing on beemaster. I did come across this page, with a comment that dead drones smell worse than marmite. Maybe they have never tasted burnt vegemite. http://www.honeybeesuite.com/essence-of-dead-drone/
But the drones in my hive were mainly all pupae, not dead. Does anyone have the experience of smelly drones with the odour of a black bread spread?
When I took the top box of drone frames home, I noticed something else. Some of those drone larvae were wiggling and I realised they were most likely SHB grubs. Perhaps I hadn't noticed them on site because they were lying still in the cells trying to mimic bee larvae? Has anyone noticed this also?
The only thing I can say for sure is that nothing else can go wrong with this murphy's law hive...or can it.......?