I promised JP (who kindly talked me through this cut out yesterday morning) some pictures.
We found this hive at the front of a home deep in the floor joists between the first and second floors, so we removed it from the ceiling. Fortunately, the homeowner hired a contractor for the deconstruction and reconstruction because the job eventually got odd.
After this removal, we tackled what we thought was a second hive...also between the first and second floor joist but at the rear of the home. We immediately located 3 very fresh combs of honey and a few bees. No brood, no queen, no nothing. We removed the comb, and I sprayed Bee Quick to see if any other bees were hiding somewhere. Maybe 100 bees left through the entrance and clung to the outside brick.
I thought the remainder of this hive may be between living in the space between an ajoining stud, so we cut a small hole...nothing. I used the laser heat-sensor thingy...nothing. We put our ears to the walls, to the ceiling, to the floor...nothing. At the homeowner's request, we cut a hole between the ajoining floor joists...nothing. We went upstairs and cut a hole between wall studs above...nothing. A few holes later...still nothing. We removed some siding from the outside of the house...nothing.
I kept thinking that if I were JP or Hardwood, I could probably find this hive, but I'm not JP or Hardwood, and I never told anyone I could locate any hidden bees. I simply said I would remove the bees we found. So, we stuffed insulation everywhere and closed it up.
Friends: Why would we have found only 3 very new combs of honey when the homeowner says those bees have been there for months?
P.S. These pictures do not show how messy this thing got. We're in such a honey flow right now that this thing was honey honey honey everywhere.