Started 4 brand new hives (all deadouts from last year). Installed all 4 packages on same day in Mid April in Northern Detroit suberb. For some reason, I had a large number of bees end up in Hive 1 and very few in 2-4. The hives seemed to drift to the one hive. I checked a few weeks later, and I had a queen laying eggs in all 4 hives. After being out of town for three and a half weeks, I saw some growth in hives 2-4 in the number of bees, but not a lot. Still have capped brood and some bee increase in population, but not too many bees. Think they got stunted since they started with so few bees in these hives. Very little surplus. Hive 1 already filled the two brood chambers, and a honey super and I added a 2nd super. My question is this? I don't see any one of these three hives having the strength to give me honey to overwinter. Can I combine these three hives in hopes of enough bees and brood to have one strong hive out of the three? What is the proper process for this combining. My assumptions are to kill the queens in each of the weakest two hives. Let them sit queenless for a few days. put newspaper between the boxes and combine with one queen. Once the bees have acclimated, adjust the brood in the bottom box mainly. Any suggestions? wondered why I had bees drift to the one hive. I know they should have been further apart, but I haven't had this occur with hives installed right next to one another. any help is appreciated.