Went by where an old beekeeper used to live the other day and found 2 half rotten hives full of bees! He has not lived there in 15 yrs and passed away 2 years ago. Got in contact with his sister and asked permission to get the bees to which she agreed. I went today and opened the hives up to see what would be needed to get the bees. 1 hive has 1 super on it the other has 2 supers, one of which was a section super. Both hives full of honey, bees and ants. All apparently living together happily. Everything is rotten so I will not be able to salvage any of the frames. I am going to try to cut the brood in sections and put in new frames with rubber bands to hold it in place. The bees are Italians and would you believe extremely docile. The smoker went out when I was just starting into the second hive and I didn't bother to relight it since the bees weren't being that agressive. Not 1 stinger in my suit or gloves, not even a head butt. Am planning to go back Tuesday and try to move/salvage the brood to 2 new boxes. Not sure just which way to go with the supers 1)put old supers on new boxes and let bees move what they will down into the new brood section 2)Cut it out of old frames into a tub and let the bees bring it back in 3) squeeze the honey out and feed it back to them in a feeder. Boy, I hope I can save the queens to raise some stock from these bees. Any tips or suggestions would be welcomed in the best way to handle these 2 hives.

Marty