Lets liven this up and have some fun learning at the same time. Im going to post here a scenario and lets have some of the newbees chime in with there idea of what to do before us old timers get to it. We might all learn something so lets set back and have some fun. You go to the out yard where you have 5 hives of bees all hives are side by side with just enough room to get the top cover off. Its in the middle of august and a dearth is on the heat is up and the stock market down. you stop to observe the entrances to all 5 hives before you begin. Your first hive is booming bees bearding up the front of the hive the 2nd hive is not as strong but bees going and comming the third hive has no action at all the fourth is booming as is the 5th you start your inspection. you dont find but very little brood in any of the hives some are starting to look honey bound. you had supers on all the hives since april you now find that most of the honey that was in the supers has disapeared. the Hive with no action you open and find it smells like death the cappings on the brood is dark and sunk in. very few bees after you open the 2nd hive it sets off a robbing frenzy from the other hives. So what would you newbies would say is the problems and how would you go about tackling them.