Hello form lower Alabama,
Michael, I just read what you had on "laying workers" and I think I have the same problem. I only have one hive (three full supers) and found it to be queenless in April. There were two swarm cells that had hatched but I could not find a queen and there were no eggs or brood in the two lower supers. I waited two weeks and rechecked. Still no eggs. I ordered a new queen and it took three weeks to get one. When I went to put the new queen in, I found 80% of the cells with eggs, larva, or capped bees. Some caps appeared flat and others were rounded caps like a drone. There were only single eggs in the cells, but some were on the sides of the cells and some were laid on top of pollen packed cells. I made two complete searches of every frame, but could not find a queen. Usually I can find the queen around frames with fresh eggs. In this case there were fresh eggs in both supers. When first found out I was queenless, I removed the top honey super and extracted all of the honey out of it and out of the top brood super, closing down a three super hive to a two super hive. They cleaned up the top brood super and have since started filling it with honey. Saturday, I swept all of the bees out of the top super into a single super. I then took five frames of brood and honey and five empty frames and put them in an empty super to start a new hive. I carefully checked six frames for a queen and the swept all of the bees off the frame into the new hive. I have blocked it off off and set the new queen cage inside. I plan on keeping them caged for four more days and then setting the new hive in new location and turning them loose. Question of the day: I am I on the right track and is there a chance they will accept the new queen. If so, and I am right about the other hive being queenless, do you think I might be able to order another queen and try re-queening the old hive?