Found this today in 2 hives. The photo shows about 25% of the population in the hive. There was zero brood of any age. Some scatter capped cells, with small holes in the caps.
During the last inspection the population was noted as being low. I treated with Apivar strips about 35 days ago. I did not do a mite test before treating because a couple of hives in the apiary showed enough mites to merit treating and I treated all the hives (6) at once.
Obviously the painted queen is original to the hive.
Two of the six hives were in this condition. The others are thriving.
Any thought, insights? There was no odor in the hive, but the cappings that were there didn't look normal.
I added a close-up of the capped cells.