• Eric Hoelscher

Types of Bees in Arizona

Updated: Jun 11

When people hear the word “bee,” the vast majority thinks about honey bees, which are an incredibly beneficial insect both for the environment and our well-being. However, there are over 16,000 species of bees coming from 7 different biological families. While some bees are relatively harmless and tame, there are some species that pose a serious threat to humans, including killer bees.


Types of Bees in Arizona

You would be surprised by how many types of bees exist in Arizona. Some of them are harmless and great for the environment, whereas some can cause serious issues.


Here are a couple of types you would typically stumble upon in AZ:

  • Honey Bees

  • Bumble Bees

  • Cuckoo Bees

  • Carpenter Bees

  • Sweat Bees

  • Squash Bees

  • Yellow-Faced Bees

  • Mining Bees

  • Long-Horned Bees

The vast majority of the above-mentioned types are somewhat harmless, and the worst-case scenario would be a slightly painful sting, but Africanized honey bees in Arizona are known for having a shallow threshold and high levels of aggressiveness.


What Makes Killer Bees Dangerous?

Killer bees in Arizona have been wreaking havoc for some time, and many people have been struggling to cope with sudden invasions of these insects. As the name suggests, they tend to be overly aggressive, and they don’t mess around – if you happen to find yourself in a clinch with them, it’s safe to say that you’re about to have a very unpleasant experience.


However, with the help of this article, you should be able to recognize and, more importantly, act appropriately in case you stumble upon a nest of killer bees.

In order to understand the behavior of killer bees and hopefully avoid an attack, you have to dive a bit deeper into how their instincts are wired.


Like most living creatures on Earth, killer bees usually attack only when they feel threatened. They will very rarely if ever, swarm and sting a person with no reason whatsoever. However, what makes this type of bees particularly dangerous is that unlike honey bees who send only a couple of defenders to chase away predators and threats, killer bees send all members of the hive to protect the queen. Consequently, you may end up being surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of angry insects equipped with a pretty nasty sting.


It’s important to point out that not every attack is devastating and will make the news, but the most jeopardized demographic are people who are allergic to bee stings. An individual who is allergic may end up in the hospital after a single sting, so you can imagine how dangerous it is to get stung a dozen, or worse, hundreds of times. So, what makes killer bees dangerous is the sheer number of them swarming at once, rather than them being some super-trained professional killers.


What Can Trigger an Attack?

As mentioned, killer Arizona bees will usually attack when they sense a threat. A threat could be anything from seemingly harmless loud noises to some more serious situations like disrupting the hive. It should go without saying that you should never try to destroy or move the hive since it’s almost certainly going to end up badly for you. And, “badly” can turn into “lethal” in a matter of seconds.


Here are some seemingly harmless situations that can trigger a full-blown attack:

  • Sudden loud noises caused by yard equipment, lawnmowers, chainsaws, etc.

  • Particularly dark clothing can sometimes agitate killer bees

  • Laundry detergent and washing powder with a floral note

  • Direct threats to the colony, for example, bumping and disrupting their hive

As you can tell, one can’t really predict or avoid an attack when it’s too late, since it’s usually triggered by ordinary, everyday activities such as cutting grass or perhaps wearing a perfume with a floral scent.

How Can One Avoid an Attack?

While there is no magic formula that guarantees you can avoid an imminent attack, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind that can help you when it comes to lowering the risk of falling victim to killer bee swarms in Arizona.

  • Inspect Your Home and Yard

This is a relatively obvious preventative measure, but many people tend to oversee the importance of thorough inspection. Fortunately, it’s a pretty easy thing to do, although you ought to be thorough or else you might miss a spot or a corner, and that’s usually all it takes to let these bees thrive. Look for signs of bees, especially around eaves where bees usually like to build their hives. Don’t forget to inspect your attic as well, since it’s one of the most common places killer bees like to establish their colonies.

  • Bushes and Trees Around Your Property

Trees and thick bushes are yet another place where bees like to nest. Even if you don’t have any trees or bushes in your yard, take a moment and check out the ones in front of your house or on the street. The fact that they aren’t in your yard doesn’t mean they can’t attack. It goes without saying that they don’t care about fences.


How to Protect Yourself From an Attack?

Since bees are attracted to carbon dioxide, they tend to attack the area around your neck and head first. Naturally, you should cover your head at all times and just start running. Fortunately, bees are relatively slow fliers, so it’s possible for a human to outrun them.


While it’s really hard to stay calm and resist panicking, it’s one of the main causes behind some serious attacks in the past. People tend to freeze or even run in circles while they are panicking, which is not something you would want to be doing during an attack. You should find the nearest enclosure, hide, and the bees will eventually give up. DO NOT jump into a pool because they will hover over and wait for you to come up for air.


How to Deal With Killer Bees in Tucson?

It is crucial to point out that you should NEVER try to deal with killer bees by yourself. Since they usually live in fairly large colonies, there is little to no chance for you to get rid of them at once, even if you resort to some radical measures. People in the past have tried burning hives with flamethrowers and similar devices, but it usually only makes the situation worse.


Your safest bet is to hire a team of professionals who know exactly what to do in these types of situations, and on top of that – have the necessary equipment to deal with killer bees.


If you would like to know more about prevention, protection, and solutions for infestations, read our other blogs. If you’re looking for a reputable company with years of experience in this field, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to help you get rid of killer bees and any other pests.

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