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I have three hives from last year. I treated them with Apigard this weekend. Two of the hives had a great pattern of capped brood and larvae. The third hive had just several small patches of capped brood and the population was lower than the other two hives. This hive was very strong a month earlier. The capped brood was very tall, so I assume they were drones laid in worker cells. I am in Cincinnati, OH. My other two hives swarmed in April and May. I am trying to decide if this weak hive might have swarmed recently (mid July) or if the queen died or had some problems and the hive population is just slowly shrinking as workers die off? When a hive swarms, should I still find some normal capped brood from the old queen who left? I did not see any old open swarm cells as I did see in the other two hives after they swarmed. Thanks, Jim
 

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Sounds like you have a drone layer, a queen which has depleted her store of semen and is laying unfertilized eggs=drone brood...sorry shes a goner, unless you can come up with a new queen to requeen and build it up before the seasons over
 

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Drone layer, or laying worker, which is fairly common when the queen is AWOL for some time. With a laying worker you will find eggs on the cell sidewalls and multiple eggs per cell. Search laying worker and you will find many techniques for dealing with it.

Good luck, Richard
 

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Hi Jim,
Anyone of a number of things could have happened, but luckily you have two other hives. I assume you're going to take some eggs and brood from the other hives and let them try to re-queen? That way, if they don't build up well, you can always combine later. It is certainly an advantage having multiple hives, isn't it?
 
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