Well, it happened. I have a failed queen or laying workers. Is it possible to add a new queen and the hive survive with a laying worker. Multiple frames of drone and no brood. Ordered a new queen to arrive on Wedsday. Any suggestion?
Well if all your comb is destroyed by having been forced into drone production, you'll need to replace that comb with good worker comb or foundation. Do it now so the bees can work it into something before the queen arrives so she'll have something to do sooner. You might want to order a small pacakge to augment your population if its hurting.
These are two different scenarios that will require slightly different actions.
First try and find the queen and determine which condition you have.
Failing queen: Find her kill her and re-queen the hive. If you have another hive to steal some bees and brood from take a frame or two. You can also switch the hive locations of this colony with another to help it.
When the queens come.
Take an empty brood box with drawn foundation, you can salvage frames from the current hive. Place it on the hive stand in place of the current hive. If you have another hive to steal some bees and brood from take a frame or two. You can also switch the hive locations of this colony with another to help it.
Place a double screen board on top of the bottom hive box with the queen cage in it.
Place the current colony above the screen board. Within a few days most of the bees will have moved from the upper boxes to the lower box. The bees left will have the laying workers among them. Take these bees and shake them off about 100 feet or more from the current location. The laying workers will not be able to get back to the hive.
Check that your queen has been released and combine all of the boxes.
Moutain Camp is right, if it's a laying worker you may have introduction problems. I'd try to find out if you have a queen or not and take appropriate action. His plan is a fine one. Another is just shake the whole hive out in the first place, but if you have the screen board his is less bees to shake and less traumatic for them and less work you.
I can tell you what I did and it worked fine: I took and empty brood box and the hive with the laying workers to the far side of my property (about 300' away from the bee yard.)I shook off/brushed off every bee and placed the empty frames in the empty brood box, making sure no bees could get in. Once all 10 frames had been completely emptied of bees, I took that box back to the original location and placed it on the stand. By the time I got back, the bees were waiting for me! Then I installed my queen as usual (I remove the attendants and wedge the queen cage between the two center frames candy up as recommended by Dr. Wyatt Mangum). A week later, I checked the hive. The queen had been accepted and was laying and everything was back to normal. I was a brand new beekeeper when this happened to me and I was amazed how easily everying worked out. By the way, I call this hive my "Comeback Kids."
Why do you want to save a hive of old bees and drones?
Shake all the bees out and use the equipment where it can do you some good.