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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, today I just did my first cut out -- from a friend's ceiling. The friend thinks the bees had been there about a month -- and removal confirmed that it was all fresh comb. We used smoke and a beevac. We were able to catch the queen and have her in a clip in a small topbar hive with the workers and 7 combs of brood that were removed and attached to the bars. The hive is in the shade and has screen ventilation, but the exit is closed up to keep the bees inside for today. There were also about 4 small combs of uncapped honey which I have set aside for now.

The thing is that all I saw was drone brood. Now I am not sure what to do with the colony. I only have one other hive. It is fairly strong but I wouldn't say that it has extra resources. It is also a top bar, so the bars are interchangeable.

Right now I'm headed back to the site to pick up stragglers and will check back to the forum tonight in hopes that someone has advice. Thank you!
 

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Probably a freshly mated queen, keep an eye on it, should start laying soon, imo anyway.
 

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The last drone brood emerges 4 days later than any last worker brood, if the eggs were laid the same day. It could be a new queen after a swarm close to 3 weeks ago. If so it should be laying soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your replies! I'm seeing 7 combs with lots of drone brood and no capped worker brood -- does this fit with what you'd see in a new hive with a newly mated queen? I'm worried that I have a drone laying queen.
 

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If the hive has only existed for four (4) weeks and all seven (7) frames have only capped drone brood (I assume the uncapped brood is also in drone-sized cells is also implied), it no longer is a question about a newly-mated queen getting her act together. This queen is a failure, and the bees have no alternate. Perhaps add some viable eggs, larvae?
 

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It could be a drone laying queen. If it was a drone laying queen there should be capped and open drone brood. Is the drone brood all capped, or some open brood? If it's all capped, then possibly swarm happened weeks ago. If open drone brood too, not too good.

I colony could move in a space and in short order swarm in a small space and good nectar flow. Someone thinking it was there a month could actually have been there a few months and not noticed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks -- there is uncapped brood as well next to the capped drone -- I think they are all drone larvae.
 

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Sure. I miss understood your observations there. That would eliminate a swarm weeks ago and new queen. Drone layer queen, and no way to requeen with resources in the hive. It must have been a virgin queen that swarmed and didn't get mated if it's a new swarm hive.

It isn't a laying worker hive and it would be easier to re queen if you intended to do that. Buy a queen? If you have another hive you can off the queen and add a frame of brood and eggs and they will make emergency queen cells. It would take up to 5 weeks though before a new queen is laying. Almost 2 weeks for a queen to emerge and 1 to 3 weeks after that till laying. Getting late in the year and that's a long time to go without brooding.
 
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