I'm a newbie working with 2 hives. Started from nucs in early May, and both built up reasonably well, filling 2 deeps despite a very rainy June.
Then one hive, the stronger of the two, started bearding a lot. I added a super-- although they didn't look crowded-- and cracked the top cover for ventilation. Still they kept bearding, and since everything else looked OK, and I saw no swarm cells, I stopped worrying.
About a week ago I noticed that the bearding had stopped, for no apparent reason. Today I did a quick inspection, and was surprised to see that the population hadn't increased. It might even be down a bit. The other hive, which had lagged in development, now has 10 frames chock-full in both deeps and is starting to draw comb in the super. This one has maybe 15 full frames total. I pulled a few frames, and saw no eggs or brood. I hadn't left myself time to check more thoroughly.
One more thing: The buzzing in this hive was much, much louder than in the other one. I don't know how to distinguish the "roar" of a queenless hive, but I started worrying...
I'm going pull this hive apart thoroughly tomorrow, and if I find eggs I'll stop worrying again. But if I don't, then what? Seems late to try to re-queen. Combining would give me an awfully big hive. Suggestions? Advice?