Asked February 20, 2021, 5:26 PM EST
I'm a first time beekeeper and started a Langstroth 10-frame hive of Italian honey bees in the spring of 2020. I did (mostly) weekly visits to the hive through September and it was progressing exactly as I expected, with healthy colony growth, a robust queen, regular brood and plenty of capped honey. Due to heavy wildfire smoke in my area I was unable to visit the hive for most of September, and when I visited in early October I had several queen cells in the upper sections of my lower deep hive body, as well as what seemed to be fewer bees than normal. A week later I inspected and found dead brood and brood emerging from cells that was clearly deformed and dying, and most of my bees had fled. I didn't smell anything abnormal and did a toothpick test for American Foul Brood but didn't observe any of the stringy-ness that I've read about, so I closed the hive up for the winter and added a hive-top feeder with sugar syrup. I did not treat for mites or any other pathogens.
I just took a peek and the entire colony is gone, but the sugar syrup was untouched and the two medium supers that were full of honey are still there, they just molded. I'm not really sure how to proceed...do I need to burn all of my equipment in case of contamination? I'd like to try again this year, and it looks like the hive bodies and frames are a wash, but I'd like to keep my other equipment (smoker, jacket, bee brush, etc.) if possible. Also, since this looks like CCD, is there anywhere I need to report it to?
Thank you so very much for your time, I truly appreciate the help!
Lane County Oregon