When we went to get a hive out of storage to hive a swarm it had been used by mice during the winter. I cleaned it as best I could without using detergent. However I just couldn't get rid of the mouse smell. I still went ahead and tried to use it, the bees didn't like it. We didn't get the swarm. So my question is; Is there any way to use this hive in the future? Special cleaning methods? We are pretty new to Beekeeping.
You need to remove & replace the frames where the mice made their nest.
You can sand the wood down on the inside of the super, but DO NOT paint the inside.
Are you positive you got the queen when you tried to hive the swarm?
Even when you do, "scout bees" may have located a "better place" and everyone moved out. The only way to stop that is to put a queen excluder screen over the opening so she can't get out. When the queen doesn't go with, most or all of the bees will come back to the hive. After 2-3 days, you can take the screen off the opening.