Travel & Places United States

What You Need to Know About Killer Bees in Phoenix



If you are attacked by a swarm of bees, stop reading this and seek immediate medical attention or call 9-1-1. If you just want to know about bee issues in the Valley of the Sun, read on!

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We have bees. I don't know about you, but I can't tell the difference between Africanized Honey Bees, not-so-affectionately referred to as killer bees, and "regular" bees. Since all bees swarm, I don't discriminate!

 I do know that I don't want to be around swarms of any type of bees. 

Greater Phoenix and Tucson are located in the Sonoran Desert, and bee swarming usually occurs here from February through May and in October. Africanized bees will respond more quickly and without apparent provocation to protect the nest. They typically sting in larger numbers and will chase an intruder up to quarter of a mile or more.

I have noticed signs, similar to the one that appears in the photograph on this page, warning us of areas where there are beehives. You might see them on golf courses, in agricultural areas, or in other public areas. Why would someone warn us about a bee hive instead of just getting rid of it? Because, generally speaking, bees are good. The pollination process is an integral part of our modern agricultural food growing system.

Bee Rules to Live By

The Queen Creek Fire & Medical Department shares these tips.
  1. The first rule of thumb when dealing with bees is...don't. Leave them alone. A few bees, doing their job, like building a hive or pollinating plants and flowers, should not pose a threat. Certainly, if you are allergic to bee stings, remove yourself from the area.


  1. Regularly inspect your home and yard for signs of bees. Look for openings in trees, eaves, walls, BBQ grills, and water meter boxes as possible nest locations.
  2. Do not attempt to move bees, throw objects at the swarm, or squirt with water.
  3. Swarms are typically transient. Bees may set up temporary shelter in a tree for a few hours or even days before moving on.
  4. If the you want to remove bees at a private residence or business, contact a beekeeper or exterminator.
  5. Be aware when horseback riding through brush or under low hanging branches where bees might nest.

It is a good idea to be be knowledgeable and prepared about bee attacks. Check these Dos and Don'ts, If You Are Attacked By Bees and share the information with your family and friends.
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