I inspected a beehive today and found lots of bees, lots of stores, no open brood and a little capped brood. They look to be well-prepped for winter. However, I was shocked to find about 24-30 supersedure cells. All of them near the center of the frames, right where supersedure cells should be. I never did see a queen. No open brood leads me to believe that this hive is now queenless. We've had a few nights in the twenties and I've not seen drones for a few weeks now. My guess is that when they lost their queen, they went into emergency mode and made as many queen cells as possible, hoping that their just might be a few drones still kicking to mate with. The last time I saw the queen in this hive was on 9/28 and my notes from the inspection said that there was just a few small patches of open brood.
In addition, I just so happened to have two queens coming to me tomorrow and I had plans to replace existing, elderly queens. However, upon finding a queenless hive in this condition I am wondering whether I should just introduce one of the new queens to this hive.