Flying Bee Swarms in Queen Creek, AZ

Although the news media keeps saying that bees are dying and we have a shortage off them here and in Europe, we had a lot of rain just before the spring and this told us in the pest control industry that bees would likely get busy this spring and summer. And so it is. A new customer just moved into their home bordering a golf course in Queen Creek, Arizona, two or three weeks ago. She told me that her husband had been golfing with a couple of friends and they had ‘hit the dirt’ when a swarm of bees flew toward and past them. She explained that this had been the third swarm they had seen since moving in. During the last three weeks? That’s as many flying swarms as I’ve seen in almost 20 years!

I explained why her husband and his golfing buddies need not have been afraid. Homeless bees like this don’t have brood to protect and are very confrontation-averse. It’s rare that they become so extremely stressed out or captive that they attack. Years ago as I was checking a swarm trap, a bee swarm arrived flying all around me, attracted to the trap. I could see how the loud buzzing of these thousands of bees would scare people. Now you know better. Just don’t swat at them or panic and in almost all cases you’ll be fine.

As to why my new customer and her husband had seen three swarms in as many weeks, it could well be explained that bees follow geographic features like rivers, dry riverbeds and their look-a-likes which include man-made features like golf courses. That’s how the Africanized bees moved north from South America, from city to city, from Tucson to Phoenix.