I have been through my hives several times now and I have yet to see the queen. For a general inspection if I see eggs I am fine. Lately I have been making some queens. I would rather take a frame from a hive where I knew where the queen is located. I have been grabbing a frame and trying to look for the queen to be sure I am not moving her. As I am not good at finding the queen, verifying she is not on the frame seems a little prone to failure.
How does everybody else find the queen in a hive that has several boxes. Do you look for a big bee? My hives are loaded with drones. Is she usually found near the eggs?