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Keep Vigilant: Killer Bee Season Is Coming

Now that the weather is getting warmer again, homeowners need to keep an eye out for beehives on their property. The Phoenix area is known for attracting swarms of Africanized honeybees, also known as killer bees. These bees are more aggressive than the European honeybees you may be used to from other parts of the country, and as their name suggests, their sting can be deadly.

What Is The Africanized Honeybee?
Africanized honeybees are a hybrid between African honeybees and European honeybees. They were created in labs in Brazil in the 1950s to try to increase honey production, but became an invasive species and spread to other parts of Latin America and the U.S. 95 percent of the bees in the Phoenix area are Africanized. These bees respond quickly and violently to things that they perceive to threaten their hives. Bees can be induced to attack by vibrations, noises, hive disturbances, or even certain colors of clothing.

beesHow Dangerous Are They?
Africanized bees attack humans and pets in Arizona quite frequently. Last year, an 84 year old Oro Valley man was hospitalized after being stung by 2,000 bees. Although the sting usually doesn’t kill humans, several dogs died from bee attacks in Arizona last year. Even one sting from an Africanized bee can kill someone with a bee allergy if they don’t have their medicine.

How Common Are They?
It’s hard to say how many bees there are in the Phoenix area exactly, but each hive contains an average of 40,000 to 60,000 bees. The Phoenix fire department has responded to over 60 bee-related calls since 2014. One exterminator reported that last year he received 30 to 60 calls about bees every day during bee season, which ran from March to October. The number of bees seems to be increasing every year.

How Can I Keep Myself Safe?
Unfortunately, there is no real way to make sure that bees won’t build a hive on your property. You can reduce your risk by filling up empty spaces inside your walls and checking your vents regularly, but there is still a chance that bees will find a place to make a home. They love any place that’s dark and shady, garages, hollow trees, and the spaces underneath eves are all potential bee habitats. Try to determine the areas of your property that have a high bee risk and check them regularly.

Even if you aren’t near a hive, you may encounter a swarm of bees surrounding a tree or building. These swarms are offshoots of larger colonies that break away to make a new hive. If you disturb a hive or encounter a swarm of bees, protect your head with your arms and run towards shelter.

 

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How Do I Get Rid Of Them?
Do not try to remove a hive by yourself. You could get seriously injured by an angry swarm of bees if you even come close to the hive. You should call professionals like Green Home Pest control who have the proper training and safety equipment to dispose of your problem. You can call Green Home for a free quote, if you like the price they will quickly send state-certified technicians to your home or business. Green Home uses eco-friendly products that won’t hurt your family or the bees. They also have a bee relocation program that transfers bees from people’s homes to places where they can live without disturbing humans.

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