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Handling Spring Bee Swarms in Phoenix, AZ

This time of year, Phoenix, AZ is notorious for crazy bee swarms! It seems like every morning you turn on the news, there is another school, office building, or apartment complex with serious bee issues. Or even worse, pet and even human fatalities that were caused by bees. So the question is, what happens if you find yourself with a bee problem? Keep reading to learn more about the different types of bee problems you might encounter, and what you should do when faced with a dreaded spring bee problem in Phoenix, AZ.

Bees in Arizona

Nearly 100% of bees in Arizona are expected to be Africanized Honey Bees. Yes, that may be quite a scary statistic, as many of you have surly seen, read or heard about these “Africanized Honey Bees” or “Killer Bees,”  as they are often referred to. In order to keep yourself, your family, and pets safe, it is important to know more about this type of bee and understand its tendencies.


Africanized Honey Bees are social, meaning they live, travel, and pollinate in groups. They are also more protective of one another, making them more quickly to react. In these colonies of bees, they are able to detect a bee sting, which sends them into defensive mode causing them to be triggered to sting as well.

Africanized Honey Bees

The visible difference between an AHB and a regular honey bee, is undetectable. However, behaviorally, AFB are more aggressive and have displayed instinctual behaviors that make them more dangerous to humans and animals. These bees are extremely territorial of their hive. They are hyper-sensitive to potential threats, are easily provoked, and react more quickly to even slight disturbances. Should they become defensive, they will also attack in larger numbers and will vigorously go after the threat for longer distances.

That being said, yes they do propose a greater threat than the average honey bee; however, in Phoenix, Arizona, Africanized Honey Bees are unfortunately a reality that we have to be aware of.

Swarms and Colonies

Bees that are traveling in swarms, are in search of a new place for their hive. In the midst of their travels, they may find some resting points that are in exposed locations and are present among humans, such as trees. Bees in a swarm, are usually less aggressive and less active. You will commonly see them huddled together.

Bees in a colony are settled. They will remain in an area for long periods of time and are much more active. You may even see a visible honeycomb. Bees that are settled in a colony will be more aggressive and have a higher possibility of becoming defensive in order to protect their colony.

How to protect yourself?

The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to be aware. In Arizona, Africanized Honey Bees will swarm many times and will find places to stop along the way. Swarms are made up of thousands of bees. It is possible that you have encountered one of these bee clusters. Typically they are on the move again in a few days, so as long as they are left alone, they shouldn’t become a terrible problem.

If the AHB are in a colony, they are more likely to be disturbed by sound, smells, light, movement, etc. The bees do not need to be directly provoked to become aggressive and attack.

If by chance you find yourself on the other end of an Africanized Honey Bee attack,  here are a few rules to follow:

— Run…FAST!

— Do not avoid the bees by submerging in water, they will just wait for you.

— Protect your face, while you continue to run.

— Get into the first structure you can find and shut the bees out.

Unfortunately in Arizona, Africanized Honey Bees, are just one in a long list of harmful pests and animals to lookout for, along with rattlesnakes and scorpions!

Have a bee problem?

Whether you notice a large swarm of hundreds of bees, or are becoming aware of an advanced number of bees in or around your home, the best idea and safest option is to call a professional. It is always better to be safe than sorry, especially if the bees are in a location where there are humans or pets around. Remember in Arizona, Africanized Honey Bees have a higher tendency to display hyper sensitive behavior and become aggressive.

Professional Bee Removal

The professional pest control company will first determine the type of insect you are actually encountering. Often times, people mistake a bee hive for a wasp hive, and since the removal strategy for each is very different, it is important to first identify that you actually have a bee problem.

The professionals will then create a plan of action depending on the location of the hive. If it is in a tree, the tree is often times cut down, and the hive is removed along with any bees inside the tree. If the hive is within a home- in the walls, attic or roof, the process is much more complicated. It will involve exposing the hive and carefully removing it.

If the professionals determine that you are encountering a swarm, they will often tell you to be patient and stay away from the area for a few days to see if the bees move on. If after 3-4 days, the bees are still present, contact the pest control company again to have the bees safely removed.

Professional Bee Removal in Arizona

When looking for a professional pest control company to remove your bees, look for a company that is experienced! Years of experience, especially in Arizona will mean that they are a quality company that knows how to handle your bee problem. Also, make sure they have certified technicians. This means that they are not only experienced, but knowledgeable of all recent pest control methods. Additionally, it is always nice to find a company that will come provide a free inspection to assess the situation before any service is performed. If you have an issue with bees, and are looking for a professional bee removal company in Arizona, give KY-KO Pest Prevention a call; we will do everything we can to help take care of your bee problems!