Welcome to the forum. Great people here.
In my [limited] experience, when they want a new queen, they'll make a bunch of queen cells and you'll know something's up. When they're not serious, they do those practice ones and tear them down. I often see a couple of cups during an inspection. When I've seen capped qcells, there have been a bunch of them of the same age. No lingering and dawdling doing one at a time.
Hope you have a great year.