I am fairly new to beekeeping (second year). This spring, I started a colony from a Nuc hive that I bought. It grew and grew well through July to a two deep, one shallow super hive. For the first two weeks of August, I went on vacation, and when I returned I found that my hive had about one box of bees and some SHB left in it. Many of the bees were gone, but there was a queen. I didn't do anything, and two weeks later there was no queen and the hive was dying (literally about five bees and some SHB). It was very sudden; at the beginning of the last week of August, there were a reduced amount of bees, but no less than the second week of August. The next time I checked, at the end of that week, there were only a few bees left. My question is what happened? Did the bees abscond, and if so, why? Also, when I finally took the hive apart, on the bottom board there was this brown fuzzy stuff pictured in the link below. Does anybody have any idea what it is? Also, as background, we had a very wet summer.
In some parts, it's clumpy, others it feels like fuzz. I think I can make out a few wings? But, I'm not really sure. After scrutinizing my baggie, I can see some type of larvae (I am guessing beetles).
Thanks in advance to anyone who can think of what may have caused the bees to leave.