Yesterday I noticed that one of my hives was evicting undersized drones. I realised this probably meant the the queen was infertile and could no longer lay fertilized worker eggs. At this time of the year queens can’t get mated as it is too cold, so the hive would have failed probably before the spring. As today was sunny and the bees were flying I decided to take a quick look. It soon became apparent that the was only drone brood. As I had nothing to lose at this point I inspected all frames until I found the queen (didn’t take long as there were few bees) I removed her from the hive and later in the afternoon united it with another hive.
Drone laying queen. 15/2/15