By mean hive I mean they are tempermental, even in good weather. When I checked them last week, as soon as I opened the hive, a dozen of them immediately went straight for the face like little killers (no, they are not killer bees, I know), Others went looking for exposed places (wrists, ect). I could barely see out of the veil. I had to sweep them away. I normally don't wear a veil, or gloves, but for this hive I do. They were like velcro on the veil and buzzing furiously. When my husband helped me last month, we have no idea HOW, but one got into his jacket and stung him in the armpit as we were walking back to the house! OUCH! They always try to sting, whereas the other hive is so gentle I can do everything I need without a veil or gloves or even smoke. I don't smoke them in the winter.
I don't put an empty box on unless at least 5 or 6 frames are mostly drawn out. For some reason, they ignore the outside 2, so I try to watch and put the new box on at 5.
I peeked again yesterday and the movement on the sick hive was greatly improved. The temperatures were cooler so they were in their cluster (bigger than softball sized) and several were fanning like crazy. That's the best I have seen since before 2 weeks ago.
The messed up comb doesn't really bother me except for having to break it apart to get down in the hive. I have a couple of icecream buckets of it to play with. It's just more frustrating after trying to "teach" them to do it right. Since I have not done anything in the cool weather, between the mess and temperment of the bees, I am DREADING digging in.