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Bees In Tucson, AZ

Bees populate Tucson and the surrounding Arizona desert areas year-round, but it’s important to note that their peak time is spring and early summer. When we talk bees at Conquistador Pest and Termite, we are specifically talking about Africanized Honeybees. First, let’s cover a little about bees, their biology, and why you may need bee control services in Tucson.

Arizona has many types of common bee species which are responsible for pollinating vegetables, fruit, nuts, and flowers. Bees provide us with wax and honey and are responsible for many of the wildflowers we enjoy in the spring. However, bees are a serious threat and should not be taken lightly. It is important for you to take every precaution when you see bees on your property. Africanized bees are in Arizona and are known to be very aggressive. All wild honey bees in Arizona are presumed to be Africanized. Africanized bees—which are indistinguishable from European honey bees, the common variety seen in the U.S.—have colonized in mostly Sunbelt states since entering the U.S. about 20 years ago. They are descendants of highly aggressive Africanized bees that were accidentally turned loose in Brazil more than a half-century ago and began migrating north. Africanized honey bees have gotten the name “killer” because they will viciously attack people or animals that unintentionally stray into their territory. The Africanized honey bee colony does not have to be disturbed to provoke the bees; even simple noises or vibrations have been known to cause an attack.

Bee Swarms

Close up of a beed on wood

An Africanized Bee colony will leave the hive in search of a new nest site when the queen dies, when a hive reaches a certain maturity point, or for no reason at all. We call this a swarm. A swarm may contain from 1,500 to 30,000 bees including, workers, drones, and a queen. This is usually visible as a cloud of bees flying 5-15 feet off the ground, sounding almost like a miniature train. These swarms are typically not aggressive at this time (unless people start to swat at them). 

When the swarm lands, they gather into a cluster. We usually encounter this in a tree, the eaves of a house, or even just on a wall. Again, please note, they are usually docile at this time. They will wait at this spot while scouts search the surrounding areas for a suitable environment to establish a new nest.

Once a scout finds an area of interest, it will return to the hive to dance. Yes, dance! The scout does a dance around the colony to attract more scouts, communicating that she’s found a great new spot to check out. If found to be suitable, worker bees will set up a nest and once this nest is established, the colony will escort the queen into the hive. Soon egg laying, brood and honey production starts. Once this starts to happen, Africanized bees become much more defensive of the site. 

If you notice a swarm of bees that hangs around (literally!) for more than two or three days, you will need to call a Tucson bee removal expert like Conquistador Pest & Termite to see if you need bee removal services.

When Are Bees Aggressive?

While bees can be intimidating, they also help your garden flourish and they pollinate crops all over the world. There can be concerns especially if you are allergic to bee stings. But otherwise, it’s best to leave the bees alone.

  • Bees in a swarm have no hive to protect and so they are not aggressive, unless egregiously provoked. They will typically move from this area in 2-3 days, as a swarm will starve if it does not quickly find a home and more nectar sources.
  • Spraying them with water WILL NOT encourage them to leave!!! But it may encourage them to put you in the hospital.
  • Bees pollinating in trees are not defensive because they aren’t by their hive. In the spring when everything is blooming, it is not uncommon for hundreds even thousands of bees to be found in one tree. The sound of them flying around the tree may be intimidating! Rest assured, they are not defensive or aggressive while pollinating as they are not near or around their hive.
  • Once the colony establishes itself and begins creating honey, they become quite defensive – more so than other species of honey bees. It is at this time that the bees are dangerous to people and animals if the hive is near a house or dwelling.

Dangers Of Not Removing The Hive And Honey

*Note: Many of our bee removal customers also need bee removal repairs.

When a bee colony settles into the walls of a home, we see damage from the honey, bees wax, and structural damage due to the mere weight of the honeycomb.

Honey and Wax

Honey and wax can cause significant damage to your home. When the swarm leaves, the abandoned honeycomb can melt and seep into your walls especially with our hot Tucson summers. You may notice an odor or an unexplained stain on the wall. A professional bee removal company will be able to help you identify the presence of the beehive and find its exact location.

Structural Damage

The process of building their nests can cause a great deal of damage in itself. The bees are in and out every day as they build their nest and forage for nectar and pollen. Often, they damage your structure by removing wood, insulation or other building materials to make room for their nest. This kind of structural damage can cause weakness in your walls and create ideal conditions for leaks, mold and other unwanted damage.

Tucson Bee Removal

Here are the steps in which Conquistador Pest Control’s Complete Bee Removal Protocol take place:

  1. Eliminate the bees 
  2. Create access to the hive 
  3. Remove the honey, brood, and dead bees 
  4. Clean, sanitize, and pre-treat the area against future bee intrusion 
  5. Put the access site back to “paint ready” condition 

Do not try to remove a colony yourself! Call the experts. Removing bees can be difficult and dangerous, especially when dealing with hybrid or Africanized honey bees. Inexperienced or improper treatment can result in injuries to not only the person attempting to treat the bees but also to others in the surrounding area. Conquistador Pest Control knows effective methods for bee control, how to get rid of bees, and preventing bees from building future nests in the same location. Contact Conquistador Pest to help you with bees and other Tucson pest control services

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