Mr Beeman.. your assumption about lazy bees may very well be correct, but, I think it has more to do with the bees you receive in the packages. (As a disclosure, I am not a fan of package bees. I would much, much, rather have a cutout, swarm, split, or nuc than package bees).
Package bees are normally shook from multiple hives and you do not get the same mix of bees you get from an established source, (a cutout) and certainly not the mix you get from a swarm that you catch on the same day that you started a package. A swarm caught on 4 may or a cutout started on 4 May, will outdistance a package started on 4 may in short order. Even if you give the two different colonies the same type box, combs etc.
1. The package bees have no allegiance to the caged queen that comes with them, until she starts to lay. It takes several days for the package bees to go to work with their new queen.
2. It takes the package queen several days to start laying. 3. If your package contains a large number of field bees, shook from several hives, you do not have the housekeepers, cleaners, nurse bees, etc needed to kick start the new package. And, you will not get them until you have emerging bees from the new queen. Consequently, unless you have drawn comb, already relatively clean, you may have lots of bees hanging on the hives because there is no place to store pollen and nectar, so, the field bees have no job until storage facilities are completed. This is especially true if using foundation. There is no place to store pollen for brood, or nectar for honey, until the combs are prepared. Cutout bees, swarms, are both, ready to go to work immediately.
Lazy bees, maybe. Wrong mix of bees and time lapse for queen to get started more likely.
Mr Beeman, I know you already know this, just thought some new beekeepers might not, and, it might help to explain the situation to them.