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I started this year with two packages, hived in mid-April. I just put a third super on one of the hives (up to six mediums now!) which I hear is great for the first year. The other hive has barely filled out the three mediums that I will leave on through winter. Is this amount of variation normal, even in hives 2 ft apart?
The second hive has been slower from the beginning, so this isn't a sudden illness or swarm that I missed. I did notice that early on this hive had a lot more drone brood than the other hive. Should I just be happy that this second hive should have enough stores for the winter, or try to move brood from the stronger hive? Thanks for your input!
 

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It can happen with a variation in the genetics of your 2 queens. You can use brood from the strong to strengthen the weak hive. If the strong hive was much stronger than the weak hive from the start you could of had a drifting issue and that is why the weak hive never caught up. They were behind from the start.
 

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Also could the strong hive be robbing from the weak hive keeping them weak forever.
 

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i make a note of how maney drone cells there are on the frames and replace them if there are more than 1/4 drone cells on more than one frame.
 
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