Tia- I've always had either one or two hives, pretty good luck with them, but the other day I went over to help the local aging commercial guy. I think we went through 100 hives with brood food powder, brood patties, and syrup. Out of those hundred and all the time we were out there, I bet there were 30 hives and more than half our time total spent banging the top bars of frames on the boxes to knock out starved bees. I felt like death when I got home after working all those things.
However, he's a numbers guy and I learned a lot by reading his spreadsheet while we were in the truck between yards. 90% of his dead-outs were italians (he runs mostly carnis, the italians were either from buy-outs or mis-shipments). I've always had italians, but since I worked for him for 7 hours that day I talked him into giving me 4 queens out of his coming shipment so I can switch over, and some honey to start another batch of mead!
Central IL... where there are more hogs than people and more soybeans than hogs and people put together.