Linda, such a bummer, you have had a tough year this one eh? But think of all the learning curves. I feel sorry for you and my heart goes out (thank goodness for us woman bleeding hearts eh? hee, hee). I think that if you had the queens in 06 that you should have requeened in the fall of 07. But that is what I would have done. Some keep queens longer. But a young strong, prolific queen going into wintertime to begin with massive brooding in the spring is the way to go. That is how I will always look at things. Not to say that I am 100% correct, but it makes sense to me.
You are a busy woman. I hear your lifestyle and you are a hard working soul. You do as much as you can for your bees, we know that. But sometimes work and the bees just don't coincide that well. Just keep on doing what you are doing. You are still doing a great job, you may not think so, but I do and I am sure others do too.
When you said to try and catch the queen to pinch off her head. I think that is an expression. I remember once some time ago asking why someone would pinch of the queen's head to kill her, and they just said that it was an expression. When I kill queens, I catch them (they are not that hard, you should try practising this, like on drones, the lazy boys of the colony, ooops, I am gonna get blasted for this one, hee, hee) and I place the queen into a little jar of rubbing alcohol. She dies immediately, right now, and I don't have to feel bad about squishing her. I don't really think that I would pinch off her head though. If I had to something right away without the rubbing alcohol nearby, I would probably step on her and cover her up quickly with some earth or something. I don't know, but that sounded good to me.
When you have time next weekend. Focus on this hive if you can and the weather is permissable. Look really closely for any eggs and/or brood, that would be your sure sign this queen was one that was ousted from the hive. That makes sense to me. I think that the workers bit off her wings to get her out of the colony so the other queen could reign. My thoughts on your situation.
Keep your chin up, remember, you are doing all that you can, and that is a good thing. Now go and have a good day, Cindi