The two weakest hives were 5 frame nucs I got on the 11 of May. I didn't have any nucs to put them in so I had to put them in my 8 frame medium hives even though they really weren't ready for that big of a box. I now think that demoralized them and they never really built up enough. They were overwhelmed with the task at hand and were only doing enough to get by.
I now have them back into 2, 5 frame nucs. When they combine there will be enough bees to protect the frames and stores.
David, last year I got my 2 nucs around the end of April. First thing I did was to put them in a larger box. Then I fed them each 2gal of 1-1. They never looked back. I don't think you can hurt their feelings. The only reason I know of to restrict room is to help them defend their space. To much space, not enough bees=wax moth or SHB playground.