This is my first year beekeeping in Pittsburgh, PA. I have two hives from new nucs installed 3 weeks ago - one doing well, the other doing... not quite as well. I'm new at this but my eyes aren't young so when I've inspected at 1 week and at 2, I looked for eggs in both, but could only see larvae and capped brood. No biggie, but in the weaker hive, I just see very little of both. In the stronger hive - noticably more.
On my second inspection (at week 2 after install; a week ago) - the stronger hive had filled out most of the 5 additional frames I'd put in (the original nucs had five frames) - and I had to super up. The weaker hive hadn't done much at all on the 5 new frames.
A couple questions:
1. In PA - we've had so much rain - almost constant - this past week was the first nice one (meaning much sun). Will queens slow down when there isn't available time to forage or pollen? This question basically - maybe cut her a little slack?
2. If I decided that the queen in the weaker hive isn't doing well - and this is the heart of my question - should I just let the colony decide this and raise their own if needed? Again, I do see a few larve (like plump little c's) - so it's not like they are queenless - or I'd take a frame from the stronger hive and add to provide them with eggs to make a new queen cell - but the "fixer" in my thinks, "Screw it, just hunt her down, whack her, and requeen." But others I've spoken to insist that if she's not doing well, the colony will replace her.
3. If I go with "let them have at it" - when a new queen cell(s) is made - I don't understand how supercedure works - meaning - wouldn't the existing queen just kill the new one? or do the bees keep her from doing so or escort her out (like a poor winter drone?).
Any thoughts appreciated. I didn't go out this weekend - thinking it's been so nice I'll give both hives two full weeks of uninterrupted living - then check on them again next Saturday. If I open the weaker hive and still no gains - I'm going to get worried.