I went through several sets of people trying to get rid of the bees. The first three tried gentle methods; all failed. Fortunately, they didn’t charge me.
The fourth set of people came from craigslist. They tried to get rid of the bees from the outside of the house. In order to accomplish this they removed a small part of the balcony railing and one of the facing boards of the house.
Gewel contacted a very professional bee removal outfit and they are here right now, vacuuming out the bees. The previous crew was looking in the wrong place — the bees had built in between the floors, not behind the balcony or the rock wall facing. These guys (beeremovalaustin.org) took out a small part of the roof in the living room and vacuumed the bees out. They also gave me two gigantic bowls of honey, but I’m not sure if I should eat them.
Update: of course I’ve been eating the honeycomb. It’s amazingly delicious.