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Confusing Brood (Drone cells) in Flow Super

Hi All,

I have a new problem and need your help.

A few weeks ago I added an ideal above the queen excluder and between the brood box and the flow super.

The bees fill the ideal pretty quickly, but since the frames were all foundationless the extraction is a mess. I wreak havoc whenever I get to the box with honey flowing everywhere making bees angry in the process.

But my main problem is that yesterday I found some drone cells in the FlowSuper frames. I thought the queen is gone so I inspected the brood box. I didn’t see the queen but there is a large amount of capped brood (normal worker brood) in there. I saw larvae too but not many.

So, is it possible that the queen is dead and workers started to lay eggs? Or is it that due to the very full ideal box there is very limited connection between the bottom box (brood box where the queen is) and the top flow super box where the workers decided to lay eggs. Is it possible that workers lay eggs while there is a queen in the hive?

I am planning to open the hive this weekend again and see if I can take some photos. They are very aggressive and I think I have to replace the queen even if I find one in there.

Thanks for usual help…



Did you inspect the supers for the queen as well?

Hi Wizard,

No as I assumed the QE has done the work and she is still in the bottom box.



To answer your first question: yes it is possible that the queen is dead & workers started to lay eggs, however they will only produce drones.

There will never be limited connection between supers because bees leave passage ways for air circulation, not to mention themselves.

To answer your second question: yes, I see that on the odd occasion, where workers lay eggs above a QE, while the queen happily lays eggs below it. In those cases it’s only sporadic, never full on like a laying worker lays in the absence of a queen.

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Thanks a lot Jeff. Will inspect the hive again in a few days to see what is happening and if I can locate the queen.