I am going to try and give the short version of past events.
2 months ago (Bees installed end of March) I had my large and small brood boxes on, and I checked them, and they had pulled comb on about 3/4 of the frames.
So I decided to add the first super on, so they could start pulling comb (Not thinking they would get any farther). Well, don't ask me how, I forgot the frames on the super, and not thinking it would be necessary, I didn't put my queen excluder on either.
So 2 weeks ago, I opened the box, and low and behold...wild, unrestrained comb...everywhere. The super is 100% full of frame-less comb, and not just empty comb either.
A beautiful mix of brood and honey. All the comb was utilized.
Well, in an attempt to rectify this situation, I removed all the comb from the super, checking as best I could for the queen, hoping she was back in the bottom in the brood boxes.
So After removing all the comb, and removing the bees as well as could be, I cut away the brood and honey and rang out the comb to extract the honey (Not the correct moisture content I know, but it won't be wasted).
Now, 2 weeks later (Today, July 6th) I went out to see if they started pulling comb on the super frames, and to add the queen excluder. But I open it up, and there hasn't been a sliver of comb placed on the super frames. Thinking I might have just missed my opportunity I go on with my check. I pull off the super and look into the brood box, and the population looks much smaller, the activity around the hive is mentionably less than before, and most importantly, I couldn't find any brood.
Is it safe to say the queen perished? If so, and there were no queen eggs to raise, am I looking at the last generation of bees before my hive is gone? Is there anyway to check for the queen besides sighting her? Because I did not see her on the frames, but I have a 75% success rate so far (Just started beekeeping in March).
And my final question, when I looked into the brood, and all the honeycomb that was there, it was all inter connected to the frames, and they made paths through it. Like 6" pieces of 2" wide comb, solid between the frames. And when I separated the frames to pull them out, the comb broke and spilled honey everywhere.
What is to be done for that?
Sorry for all the questions, and thank you in advance.