On Friday, April 29, 2016 at around 11:00 am, Cottonwood Firefighters responded to the parking area in front of a shopping center located in the 1600 block of East Cottonwood Street for a swarm of bees that had reportedly “chased” a female who stated she ran into a nearby business to escape the bees. No one reported having been stung by the bees.
At the direction of a bee keeper who had been summoned to the scene, Cottonwood Firefighters sprayed a fire hose to encourage the bees to disperse. The bee keeper stated that he was unable to relocate the bees because a hive was not visible he could not locate a queen in the swarm. The bee keeper also determined that the bees did not seem aggressive at this time and he advised that the bees should leave the area on their own in the near future. People in the area were warned to use caution until the bees leave the area.
Cottonwood and other area residents should be aware that bees are active this time of year and should use caution when outside.
Following are some recommendation for dealing with bees:
Check around your house and yard at least once a month to see if there are any signs of bees taking up residence. If you do find a swarm or colony, leave it alone and keep your family and pets away. Look in the Yellow Pages for a local beekeeper or a pest control company to deal with the bees.
To help prevent honey bees from building a colony in your house or yard, fill all cracks and crevices in walls with steel wool and caulk. Remove piles of junk. Honey bees will nest in an old soda can or an overturned flower pot. Fill holes in the ground, and cover the hole in your water valve box.
The best safety advice is to avoid an encounter with unfriendly honey bees. Be alert for danger. Remember that honey bees sting to defend their colony, so be on the lookout for honey bee swarms and colonies. Be alert for bees coming in and out of an opening such as a crack in a wall, or the hole in a water meter box. Listen for the hum of an active bee colony. Look for bees in holes in the ground, holes in trees or cacti, and in sheds. Be extra careful when moving junk or debris that has been lying around.
Be alert for bees that are acting strangely. Quite often bees will display some preliminary defensive behavior before going into a full-fledged attack. They may fly at your face or buzz around over your head. These warning signs should be heeded, since the bees may be telling you that you have come into their area and are too close to their colony for comfort both theirs and yours!
The University of Arizona offers the following information on Arizona Bees at their website: