As springtime turns to summer in Arizona it is once again time to watch out for bee swarms. With its year-round warm weather, the Grand Canyon State is famous for large bee colonies and a longer bee swarming season. Knowing how to respond to a swarm that has moved into your yard is not only a good idea but it could save your life.
Avoid the Buzz
The best way to handle a bee swarm is to never find yourself in the middle of one in the first place! The best way to avoid a swarm is to understand why it happens. A bee swarm is a natural part of the behavior of a honeybee colony; a queen relocates away from the safety of the nest and is escorted by an entourage of several thousand bees. The purpose of the relocation is to find a new nest, and bees will be more territorial and protective than normal because they will be protecting their queen.
The swarm will normally cluster in bushes, on tree branches, or (rarely) on buildings while scouts look for a location to build a new hive. They may not be visible in tree branches but you may know they are there as a result of a low droning buzz.
A Quick Guide to Handling Bee Swarms
If you encounter a bee swarm that is moving, it is very important that you move indoors and keep your doors and windows closed. The swarms are most hazardous when they are on the move, but Africanized honeybees can be extremely dangerous even when they are in their waiting phase. It is crucial that you contact a qualified pest removal service if the swarm seems to be nesting on your property. If you don’t want to kill the bees, there may be humane options for their removal and relocation to a beekeeper who can care for the colony.
How Deadly are Bee Swarms?
Unfortunately, Arizona is one of the states that are home to the invasive Africanized honeybee species. This particular species is more territorial and prone to aggressive behavior during swarming season. Unlike European honeybees – that usually need to be disturbed or attacked to retaliate – Africanized bees have evolved to respond to simple movement or even vibrations.
Since they look similar to less-harmful bee species, if you encounter any bee swarm it is safest to always assume that you are dealing with an Africanized honeybee swarm. Once provoked, Africanized honeybees will sting relentlessly in groups of up to 20,000 bees and even someone who is not allergic to bee stings can die from 7-10 stings per pound of body weight. Even surviving such an attack is extraordinarily debilitating and painful.
If you believe a swarm of Africanized honeybees is inhabiting your yard, stay as far away from it as possible and give University Termite & Pest Control a call immediately at 520-886-4146 or (520) 886-4146. Our bee removal specialists in Tucson have the necessary protective equipment to safely remove these insects from your property.