On the brighter side, we painted the house. When we pressure washed it, it removed almost all of the original paint on the South side (and about 1/8" of wood). The house had evidence of only one original coat of paint, and no primer. It took 12 cases of caulk to seal all the cracks. As the house, which was built somewhere around the late 1800's has no insulation, it was important to seal everything. This had the added benefit of keeping the lady bugs and alder bugs, and starlings from sharing our living space. It is now on the average, about 25 degrees warmer inside when I let the fire die than before.
Update: Water came back on at 11:00am when the temp. reached 21*F. WooHoo! We can flush!
It took almost four week to prep (pressure wash, caulk, and repair wood), land only a few days to paint.I worked around the bee hive in the upper wall, opting to let them continue to live there as the feral hive has been there as long as I can remember. It would be a major job to remove them, and I can always try to catch them when they swarm.
Last seasons swarm