I started last year, so this is my first Spring, coming out of winter. I had 3 hives going into Winter, but lost 1.
So, I had 2 hives that looked good. Before I left the country for a few weeks, I did capture a swarm and placed in another box. So that left me with 3 hives. I did not check for a queen.
In all three hives, the number of bars with comb are between 18 - 24 (on 4ft hives), and I think 28-30 bars can fit in each.
In the two that made it over winter, I found lot's of queen cells. About 5 in one, and 3-4 in the other. By the time I got to them, they were all open.
The hives are VERY active. Lot's of bees. And again, comb and cells full of honey. No brood. No empty cells (or very few) in all three hives. I only fed once, late Winter, with a boardman feeder. They didn't take it very quickly, so I assumed they were doing fine on their own.