I have a hive of bees that I just purchased this Spring. Most all of the brood cells appear to me to be drone cells. I believe that the remedy for this is to replace the queen, but have read that this quite often is not successful. Can anyone with experience with this problem give me some advice, please? Thanks. Tony Brainerd
When a hive gets to this point, it's extremely difficult to correct and still keep the hive intact. If the drone population is high with the worker numbers dwindling, you reach a point where there aren't enough workers to do the necessary work of raising brood. Replacing the queen won't help.
In a situation like this I would not bother trying to reverse the problem. Instead, I would simply shake all the bees off the frames onto the ground and remove the hive or close it up assuming most of the bees are drones anyway. Split from another hive to get it started back up. Cull out the drone comb first.
An option: Order a pkg, remove the frames of drone brood, place them in plastic bag making sure they are air tight and freeze them. Before the pkg arrives remove the frozen brood from the freezer and thaw them out still in the plastic bags. Install your pkg and add 2-3 frames of brood with nurse bees from 1 or more hives. Replace the brood frames with the now thawed drone frames. It's a good idea to scratch them open first. Better yet replace with foundation and place the thawed brood frames above the queen. The bees will clean out the dead brood and hopefully, fill the comb with honey. You now have a pkg with a head start and possibly removed some varroa.
Personally, I'd replace with foundation and use the dead drone brood as bait, crappies and bluegills love it.