Is my big hive just extra strong or is my smaller hive too weak?
In our classes we often mention the benefits to starting or having more than one bee hive. One of those reasons is allowing you to compare progress of each hive to another one nearby. This can help identify problems sooner in hives that become very inactive by allowing you to notice that one hive is super busy and the other is not at all.
It is also important to note that hives will grow at different rates and their activity can also be different depending on the stage the hive is at, temperatures, size of the hive, number of eggs the queen is laying, etc.
Comparison can be a great first warning tool, but if you inspect your inactive hive and everything looks good, then don't fret too much. Generally you don't have to be too upset about one hive growing slower than the other. If it gets too far behind, then you may want to re-inspect, but remember, it could be that your super active hive is just stronger or the nuc/package was larger right from the beginning and the hive you think might be weak, is really just at a normal size.
In the end, comparison helps, but it cannot be the sole diagnosis for a potential issue. Nothing beats inspecting your hive to make sure everything looks right. As long as there is growth, let them bee.