Beekeeper, firefighters remove aggressive bee swarm in Sahuarita - Tucson News Now

Beekeeper, firefighters remove aggressive swarm of bees

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The bees had built an extensive honeycomb. The bees had built an extensive honeycomb.
50,000 bees were found in the 2-story home in the 400 block of West Camino Tunera. 50,000 bees were found in the 2-story home in the 400 block of West Camino Tunera.
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

More than 50,000 bees lived unnoticed for two years in a two-story home in this Rancho Sahuarita development.

The Rural Metro Fire Department and the beekeeper who worked all day to remove those bees say this is a very rare case.

Pat McCracken has been removing bees since the mid-80s.

"This is actually the largest bee hive I've removed from a second-story attic on a home," McCracken said. "…just completely filled. Row after row of honeycomb."

No one was home yesterday at the home in the 400 block of West Camino Tunera when something happened and two dogs started making noise.

The bees responded by attacking the dogs.

"We see bees in our yard all the time," said home owner Miguel Diaz. "I thought they were just flowering, pollination. We never realized their hive was on top of our house."

Diaz's neighbor, who lives four doors down the street, helped saved the dogs.

"Unfortunately, once that attack starts it just gets bigger and bigger until somebody comes and saves the dogs," Romero said. "If they would have stayed another 10-15 minutes, they'd probably be dead."

They removed stingers from the dogs and took them to the vet where today both dogs are in critical condition.

Mesquite trees are coming into bloom. It's a sign of bee season and the time of year beekeepers get busy.

Arizona is no stranger to swarms of bees, but 50,000 bees is a lot.

When they swarmed yesterday, it was a scary situation.

Rural Metro realized the situation was bad and started foaming the bees.

If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, even if there aren't as many bees, get to a safe location and call 911.

"It can be dangerous," Grant Cesarek of Rural Metro said. "Get 911 activated. That way, if you get stung or have a reaction, paramedics and firefighters can be there to offer you that medical care you're going to need."

Rural Metro says to avoid this sort of situation, check your home for cracks or openings where bees or wasps might be able to get in and build a home for themselves.

McCracken, who killed the bees even though they are declining in population said factors in this case made the extermination necessary.

"We hate to have to kill bees, but in this situation where they were located, it was too dangerous to try and do a live removal, especially at night time last night," McCracken said.

Tucson News Now's Paige Hansen can be followed on Twitter at @_PaigeHansen.

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