>A couple of follow up questions here: if the hive had in fact produced a queen and if the workers had accepted them both..how would that situation have most likely eventually played out assuming minimal intervention on my part?
You have made a few erroneous assumptions. I've never seen a hive with a laying queen accept another laying queen. To set up a two queen hive (which I've don' purposfully on occasion) you have to split the hive so the side you're introducing the new queen to is queenless. I have the best luck if I take an existing hive and make two queenless splits and after overnight add a new queen to each. Then after they are accpted put them together in a newspaper combine with a double queen excluder to keep the queens apart (either two bound excluders or a super with an excluder above and below or a horizontal hive with a brood area on each end seperated with a vertical excluder on each side of the center). Anytime you put a laying queen in a queenright hvie the workers will ball the new queen and kill her. The only way you naturally end up with a two queen hive is when a supercedure occurs and the laying queen, who has no interest in the new queen, continues to lay and the new queen, who is only looking for virgins as her competition, starts to lay. A mother daughter two queen hive is more common than most people think. The only way to simulate this is to add a virgin queen or a queen cell about to emerge to a queenright hive. Still it's most likely they will dispose of the old queen and keep the young one.
>Also..if, as in my apparent situation, a hive seems queenless (there are absolutely no eggs, larva, capped brood in evidence) and if one doesn't add a frame or 2 of brood, by what method can a queen be produced?
Pretty uch, it can't. On rare occasions Thelytoky has been observed where a laying worker lays a viable queen egg, but this is like hoping to win the lottery. It's unlikely. But they may have already. A virgin is very hard to find and it takes at least a couple of weeks for a virgin to get mated and start to lay.
> I am familiar with laying workers from years ago but my recollection on the math involved there seems to make it unlikely that one (or they) could have produced a virgin queen in the timeframe I was faced with (approx. 2 to weeks weeks from hiving a 3# package).
You hived a 3# package. If they had a laying queen at that point and they decided to start an emergency queen (maybe because she died a few days after introduction) from a four day old (from when it was layed) larvae it would take 10 to 12 days to emerge. Then it would take another two to three weeks to get mated and start to lay. This means you could easily find a hive with no eggs or brood whatsoever and still have a virgin queen running around.http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm
That's why I recommend a frame of eggs and young brood. That way you can determine if they are indeed queenless or if they have a virgin that just isn't laying yet.