Finally got the chance to dig into my 'inherited' hive. Boy, what a mess.
It hasn't been worked in at least three years. It was in two deeps and two mediums with a (smallest) bottom entrance and a 3/4 inch hole in the top medium super ( been trying to go to all mediums for three years now ;). There were FRAME SPACERS throughout!!! I hate those darn things, especially if used improperly. Lots of condensation evidence and a fairly large mass of dead bees near the bottom, they appear to have been there a while, AND :) about 10,000 live bees, lots of drones (too many), about 4 frames of baseball size CAPPED brood, about a full frame of mostly uncapped drone brood BUT NO EGGS OR LARVA :-\. I did NOT see a queen and suspect she must have passed on fairly recent???
All things considered these bees were also very calm??
There was a mix of mismatched frames w/ PLASTIC and regular foundation, and in the bottom box more than half of it wasn't even touched by bees!?!
I was able to reduce them down to one deep and two mediums along w/ their own winter stored (five plus frames) honey/pollen, but assume they are doomed w/out a queen and will have to act soon. I may just dump them in front of one of my weaker colonies and start over.
Will this colony survive? What about the capped brood still remaining?? Are they dead? (guess I should look) There were no queen cells. Any advise here would be appreciated, thanks.
On a positive, I 'was' able to clean up the old supers and will use them eventually, after ripping out all those stupid :-D nine frame spacers. Just not too sure about the bees.