Hello everyone! I will try and keep this brief. This is my 2nd year of keeping bees, but my 1st year was not successful, and now it's looking like year 2 isn't going to be great either I installed a nuc around the first part of May, and the bees have always seemed . . . weird. Odd clusters on the outside, massive bearding underneath to the point of building comb on the screened bottom board, lots of bees just hanging out on the landing board like they're sunbathing (and if that sounds weird, I will take a picture). I've never ever been able to spot a queen -- my eyes aren't that great -- so I've always looked for evidence of healthy laying activity. Long story short, took a look today because I keep seeing fewer and fewer bees, and yup, almost no evidence of baby bees. And I'm starting to wonder if they've been queenless for a long time, hence the weird behaviour. So, my question(s) for the experts: 1. Should I order a new queen or look for more signs that the bees are preparing their own new queen? 1b. What are some signs that I should look for besides eggs and cells? 2. Should I even bother? I know I sound like a negative nancy, but I'm very disheartened and trying to be realistic. I've sunk some serious change into my bees and I really do love my ladies, but I don't seem to be very good at this and I don't want to keep killing bees through my own stupidity.