I've been keeping bees for less than a year; have one hive of two deep brood boxes. Everything seemed to be going fine so far until yesterday... I've been doing the dowda powdered sugar method as was recomended by the people I got the bees from: one treatment a month, then once a week every week in august. Mite numbers did seem high, but being such a newbie I didn't know whether to be alarmed or if it was normal. Did last sugar treatment two weeks ago and bee population seemed normal; did last real inspection a month ago. When I went into hive yesterday, I was horrified to find basically an empty hive. Top box full of honey, as it was a month ago but absolutely no bees in top box. Bottom box: no larvae, except a couple corpses of bees that seemed to die while emerging from their cells. The only sign of brood is on a few frames and its "spotty." The only actual living bees numbered maybe 100! Did see the queen. There are a number of dead bees on the bottom of the hive (maybe 100 or so)
Questions: Could this be varroa that utterly destroyed my first and only hive? What besides varroa could it be? Can this hive be saved this late in the season, and if so HOW? Any advice or insight would be great... it's really depressing how quickly this came about and I can't help but feel discouraged.