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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got 4 nucs about three weeks ago, two of them, a russian and an italian are doing great. Two, both italians, don't look so hot. When I opened them, there was condensation on the outer cover around the hole in the inner cover. They didn't buzz like a normal colony would when the inner cover was taken off. And they were just hanging around on the comb, it didn't really look like they were doing much of anything. I saw eggs for sure in one, didn't look close enough in the other. In the morning, I've noticed that there are dead or dying bees laying on the landing board. What's wrong with them?
Thanks
 

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Hello Josh,
You have addressed perhaps several things that may be together or coincidental.

First the dead bees on the front. This is somewhat normal in a small amount. Look for shriveled wings indicating a high v-mite infestation. Look for dying bees without shriveled wings for possible t-mite problems. You may also need to be aware of possible pesticide poisoning. If you have just a few bees in the mornings, this is normal and I would not be concerned.

The hives that are less active could be due to the above items but if those items are not the problem, look for queens cells. A hive within a day or two of swarming will become very "lazy". They will stop foraging for the most part since they are conserving energy and gouging themselves with honey. An over-populated hive will have many bees on the front of the hive hanging out, but a hive with less bees, and that are swarming just to satisfy the call of nature, may not display the bearding and hanging out, as with the classic signs. Five frames of bees in a full size hive will swarm at the right time of the year.

Checking hives in the morning cool hours will make some hives slow and sluggish. Some hives are gang busters from the first peak of the sun, and others need that cup of joe. Are the bees you speak of displaying these symptom in morning, or the mid-afternoon?

As ruben has said also, bees slow down when there is nothing for them to do. I have seen robbing appear this past weekend and the beees are a little more fiesty. Good signs that the flow is slowing.

The condensation is from the dehydration of the nectar. Make sure they have a good upper entrance and ample ventalation. Dampness during the cool nights, will cause just about everything you mention above, and will allow secondary deseases to flourish. Remember to have the hives in full sun and good ventalation. This eliminates many problems within the hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I haven't been feeding them, but maybe I ought to.
Bjorn,
I checked them in the afternoon, but today was a pretty chilly day and the sun didn't come out till later, so that may be it. The one that I checked, I didn't see any swarm cells, and the other I just peeked in. I'll check for shrivled wings and everything.
Thanks a lot.
 

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Having condensation in the inner cover this time of year would tell me that you need to give them some air. If the environment is bad inside the hive this could cause them a lot of problems which could depress them. To much ventilation is better than to little.
 
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