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I've got a hive that appears to be queenless with capped drones everywhere, and no sign of capped workers. Are the two cells at the bottom of this frame queen cells or just drones?

They seem kind of small compared to other queen cells that I've seen. I checked last weekend and they were filled with what I think was royal jelly. It just seems odd that there was no worker brood other than those two cells at the time.

Thanks!

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I couldn't agree more, toss them out and let them beg their way into other queenright hives, they are more trouble than they have worth at this point, you have a laying worker hive. The 2 cells hanging off the bottom are likely queen cells with drones in them.
 

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I concur with the evaluations of the other two posters in your thread. Yes, those are queen cells, but likely do not contain viable queens - more likely they contain drones, but those drones won't even mature, in queen cells.

If you have the resources, you may be able to salvage this colony. See Michael Bush - saving laying worker colonies.
 

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Add a frame from another hive with open brood and EGGS -- if they need a queen, they will raise one. I'm not sure you have a laying worker hive, but you may have had a drone laying queen (badly mated or just out of sperm for worker eggs). It's best to take a hive tool and carefully cut away the bottom wall of some cells with eggs (called "notching") so that the bees have an easier time making queen cells that are more like normal ones.

In either case, they want to raise a new queen and fertilized eggs from another hive will do the trick. You have open brood, so it's unlikely you have a laying worker.

Check the hive in a week after adding the frame with eggs, you should have queen cells started. If that is the case, let them be and in a few more weeks you will have eggs and a growing hive. If they don't make a queen, you may need find the one you have and squish her, then add more eggs. If you do indeed have a laying worker hive (eggs scattered all over on the walls of the cells, not the bottom) it may take two or three frames, one per week, of eggs to get them back on track.

it's early, you have time to fix it.

Peter

Peter
 

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Open brood is open brood, it's the pheremones produced by the larvae that keep laying workers under control. Most likely a drone laying queen at this stage, the brood is pretty well laid. I think laying workers put eggs everywhere, not just neatly in the brood nest. They will lay on pollen, for instance, something a queen never does.

A frame of eggs will reveal all...

Peter
 

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Yes, I agree to save this hive with a frame of open egg/larvae. With many hives you can do many but 1 or 2
hives will be another process for this issue.
I just went thru this process with a good laying drone queen ran out of worker eggs. I caged her and took her
from hive to hive that they still feeding her until now more than 4 months already. I am thinking I
can use her in a growing 2 hives system to make some drones from. She's a good laying queen, not her fault.
Yes, open broods are also drone broods as well from the LW bees or the DL queen. This hive can be saved.
 
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