Re: Abscond? With tons of dead bees?
I vote for robbing. Whether it looked like robbing or not. I would think that the lack of brood would indicate queenlessness. A queenless colony will often put up a crop of honey.
Here is my thinking of what happened.
Colony went queenless. Queenless colony made a crop of honey. All remaining brood emerged. Colony got robbed out. Spraying may have had something to do w/ weakening the colony so robbers could do their work.
Take a sample of bees and send to Beltsville for pesticide testing. Find out what the electrical company was spraying. Don't put your hive there again.
Except in AHB colonies, absconding is a rare occurance in our bees, from what I have heard and know. I doubt that absonding has anything to do w/ this situation.
Just because something is new to you, doesn't mean it is new, or revolutionary. Mark Berninghausen