Bee Safety in Tucson

Bee SafetyBee Safety

Africanized honey bees are the type of bees that cause safety concerns in the desert southwest.  This can be VERY aggressive when the hive is established (hence the nickname ‘killer bees’) but not every encounter with these pests is cause for alarm.

Often bees can be observed when they are foraging for either food or water. Blooming cottonwood and mesquite trees attract large quantities of the insect.  Like everything else in the desert they need food and water to survive.  Ponds, pools, sprinkler heads and many other water sources also attract bees strictly because of the nourishment they provide.  These foraging bees are not to be feared, since they are typically docile and not defending their home or their brood.

There are several situations that we should all be wary of when it comes to the presence of bees, and bee safety precautions should be taken.


When bees travel, they travel in a swarm.  The queen bee is the focus of all the worker bees’ attention and when it comes time for her to rest, they all take a break.  The queen will land on an attractive area and all the worker bees land around her to fan her and keep her safe and comfortable while she rests.

The landing of a swarm can be a dangerous situation. Many, many bees are flying in a circle waiting for their turn to land and incidental stinging can occur.  It is important to keep your distance while they are landing and contact a Pest Management Professional regarding what should be done from this point on.  Some observable activity continues once the swarm has come to rest.  Scout bees are traveling to and from the swarm to try and find a suitable location to establish a permanent hive. Once the bees are established, the danger of a situation can escalate dramatically.

HivesBee Safety

A hive of bees is established when a permanent location has been found and occupied by the previous swarm.  In this “home”, the bees will immediately begin to develop honey comb in which to develop their brood.  Once the eggs have been laid and the care of young has begun, the aggressive nature of an Africanized honey bee colony takes full force.

The level of aggression within a colony can vary, but the same amount of precaution should be taken no matter the situation.  Bees will defend their hive at the slightest provocation, and in some instances, even walking too closely to their entry point may set them off.  Be very cautious around any bee activity when several are observed going to and from the same location, usually into a hole of some sort.

In the case that a hive is present or suspected of being near, contact a Pest Management Professional quickly with advice on how to pursue with the situation.  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CONTROL THE BEES ON YOUR OWN!!!   When an attack pheromone is release by any number of bees, the whole colony will go into attack mode. The small hive you thought you had can quickly grow to thousands and a simple situation may turn fatal without proper equipment.

Be as cautious as you think necessary when bee activity is present.  You cannot be too paranoid when it comes to personal safety and any pest management professional will answer questions regarding the situation on hand.  If you just aren’t sure, inspections can be arranged as needed.

OverviewBee Safety

If the bee activity is relatively minor or they are observed gathering pollen from a bush or even getting water from a pool, bees may in fact be pollinating and can’t be controlled using typical pest control measures.  This isn’t a situation that the bees are dangerous.  However, in either a swarming or an established state, bee stings can become a concern.

Any time that you are unsure of the cautionary level of bee activity present, contact a Pest Management Professional for information regarding the situation as a step towards proper bee safety.

Precautionary Steps for Bee Safety

Inspect property monthly, check eaves, cracks in walls, under shed and all trees.  If you notice bee activity on a tree give it 48hrs and the bees can move anywhere else call a professional to remove bees.

Keep all pets and children away from area if bees are present.  Anytime children, elderly or people with allergies to a bee sting are present the bee extermination must be controlled immediately.

Keep in mind that bees can be attracted to perfume, hairspray, dark colored clothing and other environmental factors. Please remove yourself from area that bees are infesting to avoid any injuries.

If you should have any further questions please call our office at 520-886-3029.

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