just wanted to thank everyone for their advice, and to let you all know what we finally did...
the hive was a little longer than expected (aren't they always?). There were five very long (3-4 feet by 5 inches or so) combs. I was amazed at how straight and well spaced they were...better than what the bees in some of my box hives with foundation make! They were all very new (white or pale yellow). Four of the five were solid capped brood, the fifth was half brood and half honey (unfortunately, the honey side got chainsawed, so we didn't get much of that). Best-hubby-ever came with me to help, which was wonderful, cause we needed to chainsaw (can i use that as a verb?) in order to get to the comb that i couldn't reach from the bottom/open end. The bees didn't react at all to the chainsaw, or to my ripping the hive open with my hands and handy-dandy pocket knife (the tree was so rotten, it was spongy in places).
We rubberbanded all the brood into empty deep frames and slapped those into a nuc, stuck the comb honey into a bucket, picked up clumps of bees by (gloved) hands and by knocking them onto newspaper and dumping them into the nuc (they were surprisingly easygoing about the whole operation). Looked very hard for the queen, but never saw her. Did find a small amount of eggs, so i know she was there when we started...there really wasn't ROOM for much in the way of eggs because of all the capped brood, i have never SEEN so MUCH of it in one place in my life. I think we got her into the nuc, tho, because the bees clumped up into it, and began landing on the outside of the box, and this was without the pheromone, which i left in the deep on top of the log, to go back and pick up tomorrow night. We did learn not to OPEN the vial of pheromone, because the bees rushed right over to see what that was about when we did it.
We also learned that a bee brush would have been very helpful...they stung my gloves a few times when i tried to brush them off the log and onto the newspaper to dump into the deep.
It was a very good thing that the tree was so rotten we could peel off strips to get to the comb, too. This meant we only need one lengthwise cut with the chainsaw to get things started. A pry bar would have been nice.
This was so fun that i want a bee vac, but hubby wants another Glock as a reward for putting up with my silliness. Men.
Have a great week and thanks again!