Killer bee calls amping up in the Valley

Local beekeeper getting several calls daily

PHOENIX - It's not even spring yet, and killer bees are already swarming in the Valley.

One local beekeeper says it's only going to intensify as temperatures heat up and he warns people against home remedies or trying to remove swarms themselves. 

"There's going to be a huge surge of Africanized honey bees moving in Phoenix and Tucson," said David Bies. 

Bies was called out to a swarm of bees in a tree near Loop 101 and Interstate 17. He came with a trap box so he could gather the bees and take them to his farm.  

Bies says with the mild winter, killer bees are swarming even earlier, and they could nest in people's homes and attics. 

"People die every single year, and that's why it's important to make sure people are aware of them," Bies said.

Exterminators use chemicals to kill bees in an emergency, but beekeepers try to keep them alive. 

"Without the bees, we wouldn't have any food really," Bies said. "Two thirds of our food would be gone."

Bies uses a smoker, kicking in their "bee instinct" to head home to the hive to harvest, instead of attack. 

And as a beekeeper, he gets stung and always keeps an EpiPen closeby. 

"Even though I'm not allergic, I get stung 30 to 40 times on some jobs, so these are good," Bies said.

All packed up and ready for a road trip, the bees are about to buzz around their new home. 

Bies advises anyone who finds a hive to call an expert like a beekeeper or exterminator because most people don't have experience with bees and they can quickly swarm and become dangerous. 

 

 

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