I started a thread several days ago in the main forum about what I suspected was AFB.
I am posting some pictures I took of the symptoms and the burning of the hives. The Holst milk test did not show positive, but I live in Spain and the dry skim milk here is enriched for children and the liquid milk is ultra pasturized - it is not kept refrigerated - so I am not convinced that those factors might not affect the outcome of the test. In any event, Dave Cushman's page that Michael Bush directed me to said that the test is not always correct.
Since the visual symptoms (and smell) were all the classic ones usually described and I could not find refernce to another disease those so closely replicated them, I decide to burn the three affected hives.
I currently have one hive left which for the moment appears to be clear. I decided not to treat since someone posted in another thread that they decided not to treat so as not to merely mask a potential infection. The logic seemed sound - I would rather know now rather than find out later (when I have new colonies nearby) that the remainining hive is in fact infrected.
Thanks to everyone who helped out and gave advice. I am not throwing in the towel - I will look at it as a learning experience. Am looking forward to building about ten swarm traps now and putting them out this week.