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BEE Careful: Protect Your Family From Stinging Insects

large swarm of bees over an open field

In 2018, we saw a very dry, warm winter with low amounts of rain from December through March. This year, however, we’re getting a true desert winter! There’s a lot of moisture, with rain seemingly in the forecast every day. We have our typical gully washes and, best of all, our desert is green!

When our rainy season ends, we can expect not only a lot of flowers but everything associated with them. For example, our bee population will expand rapidly this year with the availability of flowers for their food source. We will also have a very large bee swarming season— bees will relocate frequently, causing swarm and hive issues, affecting businesses, homes, pets, people, and livestock.

What’s the Deal With Bees?

While for those who haven’t experienced an Arizona spring, bees might not sound like a big deal. For those who have experienced spring in Arizona, we know better.

Bees are a big deal in Arizona, especially in metropolitan areas such as Phoenix, because our bees are the aggressive bees commonly known as Killer bees. These bees populate 33 times faster than their European counterparts and, with this level of repopulation, issues will certainly occur on a regular basis.

Our #1 Bee Concern: Your Safety

Every year, we hear horror stories told about people versus bees, many of which are preventable.

Don’t Mess With the Nest

In one story we heard, two boys were at a bus stop when they saw a large swarm of bees balled together in a tree. Growing on this tree was the decorative oranges that are common around Arizona. The boys, seeing these oranges and the swarm of bees, decide to launch the oranges like projectiles at the swarm.

As their throws hit their target, the bees start to swarm. When European bees are attacked, typically only 10% of the hive will go to defend their nest. Killer bees, however, will send the entire colony to attack. These boys were suddenly surrounded by thousands of bees with nowhere to go.

Stay on Your Toes Outdoors

We have a very active hiking community here in Phoenix, with numerous hiking trails following our mountain preserve areas. Every year, we hear stories about people being attacked by bees— even being driven from the trail off the side of the mountain from attacking bees.  

If you aren’t able to control the population, you need to stay alert. Sometimes, just wearing aftershave or perfume is enough to attract the bees. Other times, mowing your lawn can really rile up a hive of bees. You need to be observant and inspect your surroundings to stay safe from these aggressive insects.

Tips to Stay Safe

You can’t outrun them, you can’t hold your breath longer than them (don’t jump in swimming pools, they’ll wait for you). What should you do if you find yourself being attacked by Killer bees?

You should:

  • Get as far away as possible, jump in a vehicle if you can
  • Cover your face, they are attracted to your breath
  • Call the professionals to safely and efficiently remove a hive or swarm

Don’t DIY When it Comes to Killer Bees

If you do suspect or know you have a beehive or swarm, your first step should be to call a professional. This is not a do-it-yourself home remedy situation. While you may hear some success stories, it’s not worth the health and safety of you, your family, and your pets to test a solution.

Bee and stinging insect control can be a big deal that can put others at substantial risk. While you may be willing to put yourself at risk, why should you risk your neighbor's health? Or a child walking past your house? Or the dog next door?

If you suspect you have a problem with killer bees, call one of our local Phoenix area exterminators to help. We service:

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