Lots of points to ponder but I have to go along w/ bee-nuts and Frameshift. Queens usually stop laying this late in season and days are still getting shorter, so if present she'll not begin laying again until early January.
No easy answers here. Combine or leave them bee? I guess it would depend on how strong (or weak) your other colonies were. If strong, I'd experiment with the one you think is queenless and give it a bit more time.
We can learn from our mistakes as well as or successes. Want to feel the bumps on my head?