27 days ago I started a trap out with a frame of eggs and one of stores. When I checked it in about a week I had several capped queen cells.
Theoretically I could now have a laying queen, so I took a look yesterday but I didn't see any evidence of a queen - other than opened queen cells. This is no big surprise, because I sometimes have a hard time finding the marked queen in my other hive, and eggs are a challenge for my nearly 50 year old eyes.
I realize from lurking around here that this hive is in the period that sometimes causes queenlessness anxiety even in experienced beeks. You imagine that the virgin queen got ate by birds on her mating flight or that she just isn't up to the job or whatever, and about the time that the new mail order queen arrives you start seeing brood.
So I'm not really too concerned yet.
Anyway, this hive seems completely serene and normal to my newbee senses - working hard building comb, bringing in stores, not at all aggressive, not making in ominous moaning sound - so I really suspect that it is queenright and I just need to relax for a few days.
But, just for the record what are the signs of queenlessness besides an absence of eggs? Can an experienced beek really spot a queenless hive by some property or behavior?