Tuesday came and I went to look at the bees. The house is an old two storied house, in need of repairs and with plenty of small openings for bees and other such creatures to make themselves at home. I was led to a point on the outside wall where the bees had been seen. Sure enough, there they were, lovely creatures, flying in and out between bricks nrar a corner. The bricks in question covered the outside of the wall on one side of the corner, the other side, a narrow wall outside the star well, was covered with siding.
Where the bees were entering through a hole in the brick mortar, made it appear that they were going straight into the wider wall behind the bricks. With bricks in the way, we went inside, where I listened to the wall with a stethascope. Turns out that the walls were plaster and lath, covered with a layer of drywall. No sound a colony of bees could make would penetrate that wall. Next, we drilled small holes through the plaster so sounds could get through. Still no sound, not in the wall or the floor, not upstairs or downstairs. Could they be between the bricks and the wall? Maybe there would be room
By the time we had found the entrance, it was late afternoon so we decided to wait until the next morning to start ripping out walls. We were all hoping I could get to the bees by removing boards from the outside of the house. The alternative would be opening the wall inside the star well which would let the house fill up with unhappy bees. I don't have to explain the drawbacks involved with this method. In short, it is always better to keep stinging insects (no matter how beneficial) on the outside of the house.
During the drive home, my thoughts were filled with visualizations of how much of the space inside the wall might be filled with honeycomb and bees, what removing the boards might entail and hopes of a good night sleep. Tomorrow would not be an easy day.