I am near the end of my first winter as a beekeeeper. Started with two packages and had two hives going into winter.
I am now in a situation where my "good" hive from last summer, that had a ton of bees and gave me 2.5 mediums of honey, has perished (probably my fault -- another thread -- learning experience). My other hive is alive and appears well suited to survive the last few days of winter here. Both hives started as packages in late April, and the surviving one never really got going. It only filled up the deep hive body near the end of summer, and never gave any surplus honey. Never had enough bees that I thought it would swarm. Just seemed like a puny hive all year long. I assume it had something to do with the queen, but I'm not sure.
So, on to my question! Can I count on this hive being lame again this year? Do hive characteristics change from year to year? I believe the hive re-queened itself sometime last fall -- is this reason for hope? I tentatively plan to do a split with this hive -- do splits typically carry the characteristics of their mother hive?
This humble student thanks you for your worldly wisdom.