Welcome to the first of my many guides in my guide series.
First things first, do you have the Venom Battleship? The View Battleship is a necessity to all low-mid level fleet versus everything and even fleet versus fleet if you wish to progress beyond Rancors.
If you have researched the Venom Battleship you should also have either Creeper 1, SICO Missile, or both (optionally event weapons such as Aurora, Manifold, Nova, reusable HEX, Hydra etc.). Trident and Revelation likely are in your horizon at this point of your progress.
SICO 1 and Creeper 1 are mighty against Hives, and are easily obtainable through blueprints considering their ability against squadrons and overall usefulness (for example, SICO's ability to replace Gladius in some areas). These weapons allow your Venoms to take virtually no to little damage from hive squadrons and should always be primary sources of anti squadron.
If you do not have Venom, don't attempt hives. The absolute minimum should be Venoms to do these. Rancors are too small, even with Creepers, leading to lack of shields and armor. Broadswords do not have a sufficient firing arc to defend eachother aside from their poor weapon slots, Nighthawks suffer the same problem with firing arc, and Exodus may work but you definitely won't be able to finish the hives health off in time, ignoring the fact that three Creepers on an Exo leaves little mass left over after a tier 4 or so shield.
Many players learn the hard way starting out with their ambitions to hit Hives. Make sure you are able to work towards the above before the Legacy 40-55 hives are discontinued.