I received a refresher course on how difficult some bee removals can be the other night. For this job, I did not get pictures sent to me and just offered a worst case sort of estimate. Turns out I bid low.
I showed up on the job to find a home overgrown with vegetation from years of no care. Waste high weeds in the yard were covered in stickers, which didn't mix well with my shorts and tee shirt. After locating the bees, in a vegetation restricted area, I thought maybe it would be easier to work from the inside. So I attempted to go in. The code for the lock on the door wouldn't work, but with permission I was able to break the doorknob off, only to find a house ridden with trash, and to find that the inside of the area where the bees were had wall mounted cabinets, so working from inside wasn't an option.
Back outside I fought my way through the vegetation and set up to work. I pulled down the soffit to expose a large colony that had been there at least two years. As I started working, I found honey combs pulled up out of the soffit and into the attic. I kept going, vac'ing bees and cleaning up honey. Then I found the combs started going down inside the wall as well. And on the other end of the nest, went so high in the attic that I could not reach them from the outside, which meant I had to crawl up in the attic to get to all of it. I did this, and glad for it, as I found also large clumps of bees hiding up there as well.
In the end, the job took ~6 hrs, 7 counting drive time. The only real saving grace is that the bees were mostly pretty nice and I was able to work without my suit on the whole time. I never did rig up my lights, but just used my headlamp on red or green light to see but keep the bees from flying at my face.
I'm sure happy that job is done, but have another to tackle tonight. The homeowner already warned me "they've been there a long time" so we shall see how this goes....