I just went down to my friends farm to pick up some hive boxes. I brought back 9-shallow boxes with frames, and that many full size boxes. some of the shallow frames had just the piano wire, and some had the foundations that had a mouse hole in it. The large frames had some old brood, it was uncaped. There was 6-metal queen excluders, with wooden frames. the aluminum covered tops, and all the boxes were in great shape. Some boxes had new paint and were never used. I think it is a telescoping top, 1/2 inch plywood, with a hand hole in the middle? There were several of theses. Their is probaly that many more hive boxes that I couldn't bring because I was out of room. I have a full 8-foot bed on my 3/4 ton chevy, and it was full of bee equiptment. If I don't take it, he will burn it. I know I will never use all that stuff, but someone might need it. I talked to Mrs. Lamoine with Golden Bee Co. in Metarie, La. tonight. I mailed her a check last Monday a week ago. She said they were just swamped, but she would try to get it out tomorrow, or Friday. I can't wait to go get the bees with my new suit. then maybee I can start bee keeping. What do you think I need to do with all these hive foundations. Can I use the foundations with brood wax on them, are should I just order new foundations?
As long as you are reletivly sure that the old colonies were not lost to AFB it would be ok to use them. Drawn comb is your most valuable asset.
Then on the other hand, you don't want to be set back with an old virus or disease poping back up. It is really nice to begin beekeeping with all new equipment and disease free.
Seeing how you have all this stuff and drawn comb, I would probably use it. The bees will clean up the comb and get a fast start.
The lids with "handholds" are inner covers and go under the telescopic covers (the ones with the aluminum on top). THe hole is for ventilation.
You can do whatever you like and it will work fine. Use the comb that looks ok. As Bill says, the bees will clean it up. You can put foundation in if you want. If it has imprints left of the last comb on the top bar, you can probably get by just putting the frame in as is with no foundation and the bees will do ok.