... and I know it will be hard without pictures. But I'll try not to annoy you all too much.

I have two hives - new beek this year, and got two nucs within about a week of each other (June of this year). One was a local nuc of carnies. Fantastic laying pattern. Taking off like gangbusters from what I can tell. Put the second deep on last weekend after they had drawn out about 9 frames and checked today, and they're working on drawing out the upper box. And there is already a complete frame of eggs in the upper. Still feeding a little over a quart of 1:1 a day.

Second one. Well. There's my question. They're... weird LOL Italian nuc - weaker nuc than the first when I got it and it came from Florida (Italians). They are slower to build comb, and the frames are strange. They'll draw out half or 3/4 of the frame and they'll have brood in all stages around - but they never finish drawing the whole frame for some of them. The comb just kind of fades away into the foundation. All open cells have eggs (unless it's honey/syrup or pollen already), and I've seen workers hatching/chewing their way out. They are definitely expanding and growing, but more slowly and definitely more of a scatter-shot type brood pattern. It's almost like the queen is laying wherever she can, but they're putting honey and syrup in a lot of places as well, so that is limiting where she can lay?

I took a full frame (both sides) of honey and switched it a frame outwards, swapping it with a frame they were just starting to try to build up. I'm still feeding them 1:1 as well, and they're almost taking a quart a day (like the other hive) But it seems like they're more worried about storing it than building up new comb maybe? They have 5-6 frames built, and not even on both sides or all of them yet.

At this point (I'm in MA) does the second hive seem kind of like a goner for the winter? Any thoughts from people much smarter than I on a strategy, or do I just sit on my hands and see what happens?

Thanks in advance - for y'alls advice, and patience!