I merged the two hives -- just in time as the queen in one of the hives had died. I am pretty confident one of the hives will survive the Winter but I have reservations the other honey bee hive will make it but I'll do my best.
Next year I plan to try to get up to 5 hives. My friends think I'm nuts (they're probably right). I don't really like honey, I'm in it for the bees. We need them (they are the primary pollinator of flowering plants including much of our food supply) and they're just a fascinating thing.
Of course, some people thought I was nuts for not destroying the bald faced hornet nest. But our patio has been free of yellow jackets (the favorite food of bald faced hornets) and the hornets don't bother us, they never come around. People just find their big nests in trees very intimidating even though you'd be hard pressed to find someone who has been stung by one (other than someone who messed with their nest).
It's not so much that I love "bugs". I just don't like the idea of destroying things simply because we can. If the bald faced hornets were a problem, I would have gotten rid of them. But people tend to just reflexively do things that can be destructive. We are, after all, part of nature. If people can't be bothered to try to conserve, can we at least try not to actively destroy without cause?
Anyway, sorry for the soap box. I'll keep you up to date on how the bees are coming along.