Bee swarms increase with warmer weather, firefighters warn

As temperatures rise and flowers bloom, bees become more active in the community. The Queen Creek Fire and Medical Department  provides the following bee safety tips to help residents avoid any unfortunate encounters.

In general, bees can coexist with humans without incident; however, with the establishment of Africanized bees in Arizona, bee swarms and stings must be taken seriously. Africanized bees will respond more quickly to protect the nest. They will sting in larger numbers and chase an intruder up to a quarter of a mile or more, according to a press release.

The fire and medical district does not typically disperse bee swarms unless special circumstances are present such as aggressive, attacking bees that cannot be isolated from the public.

Bee safety tips

  • Be cautious when dealing with bees. Leave bees alone.
  • If you are attacked:
    • Cover your face and your eyes
    • Run immediately into a building or vehicle
    • Do not swat at the bees as this will continue to agitate them
    • Do not jump into a pool
    • Call 911 if someone is being attacked
  • Regularly inspect your home and yard for signs of bees. Look for openings in trees, eaves, walls, BBQ grills and water meter boxes as possible nest locations.
  • Do not attempt to move bees, throw objects at the swarm or squirt with water.
  • Typically, swarms are transient. They may set up temporary shelter in a tree for a few hours or even days before moving on.
  • If a home’s owner or occupant wants to remove bees on a private residence or business, he or she should contact an experienced beekeeper or exterminator.
  • Stay alert when horseback riding through brush or under low-hanging branches where bees might nest.
  • Killing non-Africanized swarms only strengthens the Africanized population. Non-aggressive bees are essential in nature.

For more information about the QCFMD, visit QueenCreek.org/fire.

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