While we realize that extermination can seem like a noninvasive approach to dealing with a beehive inside a structure, it is not a practical solution to the situation, and we discourage it for the following reasons:
1) Exterminating a hive and leaving the comb is like having a bee magnet for swarms in years to come. When bees look for homes in the spring, they are particularly drawn to cavities that have previously contained a hive. Before long the poisons will dissipate, but some of the wax will remain for years to come. Bees will be drawn to it, and the call to an exterminator could easily become an annual tradition.
2) The dead bees left in the wall after an extermination usually number in the tens of thousands, and could easily be comparable in weight to the family pet. We've removed colonies weighing hundreds of pounds. The smell of decomposition from a sizable colony can be significant. Also, if there is honey in the hive it may start to ferment and leak from the comb without the bees maintenance, which can attract large numbers of robber bees and cause additional damage to the structure.
3) We need honey bees, both as a planet and as a nation. American agriculture is extremely dependent on honey bee pollination, and bee populations have been reported as facing increasing and alarming die-off rates in recent years. Bees are among the most beneficial creatures on earth, and it makes no sense to continue to waste this vital resource that contributes so significantly to our food production. One way or another you're making a difference one hive at a time... do you want to be part of the problem or part of the solution?
Why Not To Exterminate