Well it's been an interesting weekend.
I got three mediums off those two hives from last August until I pulled them after the goldenrod flow in late November. I actully left one, the goldenrod, on for winter stores.
My neighbor has taken an interest in beekeeping and has ordered her first two packages slated for April 19. She also got permission to remove another hive in a different location on the same farmers property. It is one of the two that I righted during the winter after the cattle tipped them over. They also belonged to the same beehaver.
We moved them all Saturday to our properties and got them set up with new SBB's, propper inner covers and tops.
We have looked for the person who abandoned them and ran up against dead ends with both names and phone numbers. The landowner said that we could have them and he was compensated with honey. The best we can assertain is that they are over four years old.
They all had between seven and twelve frames of brood in them. The queens were not marked and a dark brown in color, not light like an Italian. They are a darker breed of bee, but not a Carni. The one we took to Prairiegirl's place still had the queen cage in it. They placed the hive and inserted the cage, and never came back.
The two I took home had lots of studs in them. We had to cycle out some bad duragilt frames and added Permacomb. Two of the three were honeybound in the lower brood and all needed more room right away. They were very calm and not flightly at all, it may have helped that the neighbors had been burning the pastures and the smell of smoke was in the air. The whole countryside has been hazy for a week.
These hives are boomers, but the really incredible thing about them is that none of them showed any signs of mites. None on the stud comb that tore open when manipulated, nor on the trays under the SBB's! I'm anxious to see what fall there might be after a week when I am next able to check.
I guess I will give them another two weeks for the studs to mature and start flying and then start splitting them into nucs.