Re: rope test valid on older winter deadout?
Yes any dead brood in those circumstances is likely to be perforated. If they are whole dead bee larvae inside, it was not AFB. If there is any goopy stuff you can do a ropiness test, but they may also have turned to scale, best way is to google up some pics of AFB scale so you can know what to look for.
But in all likelihood it's just gungy old dead brood.
44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).