I was chatting to a lady today who said she'd kept bees a couple of years ago, but the hive died out over winter. When opened, bees were on the frames, but dead. I am no expert but assumed they starved, in spite of there being honey in the hive.
She wants to use the equipment again...without having seen the hive I felt she could not be sure she did not have a disease that caused the crash and advised her to ditch the old stuff (there wasn't much and it was pretty beat up) and start fresh.
But I did wonder later...how do you all go about assessing a dead hive? Would be interested to hear how you evaluate what went wrong.