This tree has had honey bees in it for years. The current home owner saw them, but was entirely surprised when they decided to swarm out one day. “It was like they were flying around aimlessly, and then this conflagration of bees went off and didn’t come back.” Here is a photo of the tree. The rotten wood has been removed to better access the colony.
Bees from this tree were removed previously by heavily smoking it. Access holes were drilled into the base of the tree facilitating the smoke out. This smoking blackened the inside of the tree. At other locations the comb fell and desiccated. But, it did not kill the bees that remained. The blacken honey comb remained as did the queen and some bees, enough to set up shop in the tree again.
After the comb was removed and boxed up, returning field bees and workers form the tree gathered above the entrance of the tree. They were quickly vacuumed and removed also.