A laying worker confirms missing queen, or missing brood ?
I had a small hive, I thought died in the last cold spell, but when it warmed up a little & I went to clean it up, there was a nice little cluster of bees in the hive, so I closed it up before they got cold.
A pretty decent weekend now, I do frame by frame inspection, I find very few bees, maybe a dozen capped worker cells, no queen ( not unusual for me not to spot a queen in any box).
There are two open cells with larva in the whole hive, and some fresh looking eggs. aybe 4 square inches of cells with eggs, total.
Hive is rich with pollen & nectar, & has a few stores left from over wintering.
Some of the cells have multiple eggs, which says "laying worker", but some cells look ok.
There are a lot of sugar grains in the frames from mountain camp supplemental sugar.
I do not know if there is a queen in the box or not, but to prop things up, after checking an out yard, I brought a frame of capped brood & nurse bees from a much stronger hive & added to this hive. I would not mind having drones from the last years queen in my area, they were pretty gentle, if not great hoarders, or fast brooders. But if I have a laying worker & no queen, the bees will not make queen cells even if they get fresh eggs right?
Will the capped brood suppress the laying worker(s), & then the bees will make queen cells with appropriate aged offspring?
If I have to requeen, the hive I stole the frame from is not the one I want make a queen from.