Second update. This morning I opened the hive, and removed the honey super that was above the alleged "queen excluder". I then took off the wire excluder which had all kinds of honeycomb and brood comb built up on top of it. My original plan had been to look into the brood boxes to see if I could locate the queen but i would have done so much damage to the brood that I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Scraped off just enough to make a little room - exposing some of the brood (sorry!!!). I then placed an empty super on top of that into which I put the extracted frames (still containing some brood - see photos - that weren't damaged during extraction). They may or may not still be alive but I'll let the bees take care of that. Put the new excluder on top of this third brood box and placed a honey super on top of that. They already seem to be quite busy in the honey super so I may even get a small second harvest!
If the bee inspector ever does show up here, I'll see if he wants to help look for the queen. I don't feel comfortable doing it myself. Otherwise everything seems pretty ok in there so I'll leave the bees alone for a while. They do have a lot of work ahead of them.