Caller was from a third world country.
I asked how the access was, stating that I don't walk easily. "All level concrete to the backyard." Actually several steps, and pea gravel ramps, eight foot elevation drop from front to back. One step had chunks of hardened sack concrete at the bottom of the step. Similar to the rocks and concrete you see on the street in third world countries. Large pile of rusting paint cans in front yard. Spa cabinet door had been knawed by rats and raccoons allowing bees to enter and under hot tub was filled with rat feces.
How long have they been there? "We came back from a two week vacation and found them in a hot tub cabinet." The comb area was equivalent to two deep brood chambers and filled two five gallon buckets. Thirty pounds of honey plus black brood combs. Two weeks....RIGHT. Since March if not a year.
The brood and honey was all intermixed with the pipes and conduits of the hot tub. Helper had to kneel and cut combs from bottom of fiberglass spa in the dark. No possible way to spot a queen. Half gallon of dead honey vac'ed bees. I doubled my quoted price before starting and should have tripled it. Housewife repeated several times that it would be impossible for them to be there more than two weeks. RIGHT!!!
This was the messiest/stickiest cutout I have done, on the previous two this year I caught the queen.
Lesson to be learned: The bees from a cutout can be worthless, if you aren't charging good wages also don't waste your time.
I had another one scheduled for today, it was canceled because someone did it for free.