The old comb is as black as midnight at the bottom of a coal mine. As the mice had chewed through it, the bees repaired, in a never ending cycle, and in every direction. When I tried to remove the first frame, it was so tangled that I had to remove the three outer frames. Who ever had this hive, made their own frames and reinforced the comb with steel fishing leaders and screen wire, which of course was also innerwoven with the neighboring frames. Old mite-away strips were also part of the concoction. Once I got into the brood nest, it wasn't as bad. I just cleaned out the brace comb on those four frames and put them back in place. The outer three frames on both sides I replaced with stores from a failed hive. The frames themselves, were hand made, and rapidly falling apart. Once I get the girls to move down, those last four frames will also go. The frames I removed have been set aside at the bottom of the yard to be robbed out. They had a fair amount of honey but there was no way I was planning on tasting it....LOL Overall,it was a pleasant experience. The girls did not try to sting. Their numbers were surprisingly high, in spite of what the living conditions were.