Newbie here. I started two new hives with two packages of bees last month. One hive is thriving, it's alive, TONS of bees! 7 out of 9 frames are built out, lots of capped brood, some emerged brood, tons of larva noted yesterday, and I even found my unmarked queen for the first time which was really cool!
The second hive is struggling. There are bees, but not not anywhere near the quantity there are in the first hive. There is some build out, but not a lot. There was some capped brood, but only a little bit, and it was sporadic throughout 4 frames. There was some capped honey. I saw no larva, no eggs, no queen. It seems logical the queen in this colony is dead. I found 4 queen cups in the early stages.
So what's the best course of action? Can I introduce a new queen? Or is it too far gone, and should I be happy my one hive is doing well?
Here is one of the reasons you started with TWO hives. You have resources! Go through your good hive and find a frame with eggs and just hatched brood. Make sure the young brood looks like a comma " ' " not a "C". Very tiny! Do not shake the bees off, brush them off. Place that frame in the center of what they have drawn out.
In about four or five days you can take a flashlight and peek down between the frames, you might see the queen cells.
Don't pull it you might risk ripping a cell apart. If your other hive can spare a frame of capped brood put one in as soon as possible too. The new queen will need nurse bees.
You need to do a little research and reading on queen rearing.