>When you see the capped drone brood on comb that is mainly full of honey is that an indication of having a laying worker?
Not at all. Drone cells, being larger, are great for storing nectar. Probably just seeing some drones that haven't yet hatched and all the neighboring cells are being filled with nectar.
>Is a laying worker an indication of a queen problem?
Yes. A big queen problem. But why do you think you have laying workers? Is there no worker brood, multiple eggs in cells, that sort of thing? it sounds like if you have 10 combs of mostly brood and two combs with drone cells you're right on track. Drones are natural, especially at this time of year. If there is worker brood, you had a laying queen at least that recently and all's well. If there's capped worker brood it's all but impossible to have laying workers already.
>Should you remove the drone brood?
Depends. Not if you're striving to let the bees do their own thing, or striving to raise varroa mites . Some beeks cull capped drone cells to knock back the burgeoning mite population. Unless that's a management goal for you, let the drones be. Every colony wants some drones around, it's how they contribute their queen's genes to virgin queens from neighboring colonies.
>Are the practice cups an indication that they may swarm in the near future?
No, not in and of themselves. Every colony has some cups laying around much of the spring and summer in case they need them. Just seeing cups doesn't mean anything necessarily; they're quite normal. If you start seeing cups with eggs or larvae in them, your old queen's days are numbered one way or another. If you start seeing laid-up queen cells being drawn out from the cups, even sooner. Capped queen cells, pretty quick .
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