Expert explains bee patterns, your protection - Tucson News Now

Expert explains bee patterns, your protection

Locations of two separate bee attacks today in Tucson. Locations of two separate bee attacks today in Tucson.
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Bee activity is expected to increase this time of year due to the weather and blooming vegetation.

Scott Nolen with Truly Nolen says bees are attracted to residential areas or any moisture source to get away from the dry desert, and are more aggressive to defend their water source.

According to a news release, 98 percent of Tucson's unkept bees are Africanized.

Nolen's advice is to look for signs of bee activity by monitoring whether bees are moving in and out of cracks and holes in the home, as well as holes in trees, tires, water meter boxes and the like. Activity shows that the bees could be in the process of building a hive.

Nolen says the attack odor emitted from the worker bees is designed to set off an alarm pheromone which serves as a signal for other bees to launch the attack order. A soapy water mixture prevents the bees from communicating these orders. Spray the mixture vertically in an umbrella shape to give the attackee more escape time, Nolen suggests.

Officials remind the public to call a pest professional and to not disturb a colony, as that could lead to fatalities. Also, call 911 if it may be an emergency situation.

Bees also make a return appearance in the late fall to defend their honey reserves.

Nolen says that bees are a necessary part of our ecosystem and should be respected if seen in a tree or in a small swarm where they are normally not aggressive. He says swarms normally move on in 24 hours.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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