Bee Company #2 (Pro Pacific Bee Removal) arrived this morning to do an estimate, and came back at 5pm (right on time) to start the removal. They set up a little plastic room around the hive, cut open the wall and sucked the bees out with a "bee vacuum."
We obviously couldn't watch, because we don't all have bee suits, but the technician was kind enough to take pictures for us. This next one is a little blurry, but you can see that the bees had filled up the left side with honeycomb and honey, and the pale comb they've just started building on the right side.
When they had finished, the tech allowed us to come see what they'd taken out. The bee vacuum sucks the bees up and spits them into a wood frame box with screens or plexiglass on the sides. We could see all the bees buzzing around inside it. He also showed us the honey and honeycomb that was pulled out of the wall.
There were, understandably, a few bees that had escaped and were now wandering around on the honeycomb he was showing us, and around the courtyard just outside our bedroom. I asked why the bees weren't attacking him or us, considering we were playing with their comb. He explained that the bees were confused and disoriented, and that they weren't being protective of the comb because the queen was in the box. The tech estimated that the hive had been in our wall for three months.
After removing everything, they painted the inside of the wall with a bee repellant so they would not return, and closed up the small gap in the roof where they were getting in.
They started work around 5:30, and by 8:30 they were packing up to go. Very good service in my book. There are a few stray bees wandering around trying to figure out what's going on, but the hive is now gone.