I did an inspection of my one and only hive yesterday, and am a little concerned that my hive is queenless. I've only been doing inspections once a week, but I take a look at the hive at least once a day from the outside. Everything looks business as usual. Bees are coming and going. Returning loaded with pollen. Lots of activity at the entrance. During my inspections for the past few weeks, the bees have been very manageable. I've only used the smoker once and that was during my first inspection in the beginning of may. They are really easy to work with. The concerning part is that I've got no capped brood, and as far as I could see, I've got no eggs either.
About a month ago, I took a video and posted here of my queen laying. Two weeks after that, I did an inspection, and the frame she was on had a good sized patch of capped brood. I decided to look into the bottom deep, and noticed alot of capped brood there as well. But I also saw some frames (that were part of the nuc I bought) that were very poorly drawn out. I looked like the comb was built on a piece of flat clear plastic (like cellophane) and some spots were missing, others were very lumpy. When I was returning one of the ugly frames, the bees got really loud all of the sudden. Not violent, just loud. I had a sneaking suspicion at that point that I had possible killed my queen.
So for the next week, I observed from the outside and everything seemed fine. Last week during my inspection, I noticed that most of the brood had emerged, but there was still some capped on some of the frames. Lots of capped honey, but no new capped brood.
Then yesterday I did another inspection. I looked at frames in both deeps. It looks like all of the comb that was filled with brood is being back filled with honey. I couldn't find any brood at all. I didn't see any queen cells either though. The bees are still pleasant to work with, and are still working their stingers off, but they aren't increasing their population at all.
My questions are;
1. Does this sound like a queenless situation? I am terrible at finding the queen. I looked, didn't see her.. That doesn't mean a darn thing though.
2. If I am queen less, wouldn't (or shouldn't) my bees have tried to make a new queen by now?
3. Should I order a queen? If so, any recommendations on where and what kind? And how should I introduce a new queen to a hive that I can only speculate is queen less?
Like I said, this is my only hive. I just started in the beginning of may, so I have no idea what I'm doing. Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated.