Bee experts warn aggressive bees on the rise in Phoenix area

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With spring starting, more bees will be out and about. (Source: lightpoet / 123RF Stock Photo) With spring starting, more bees will be out and about. (Source: lightpoet / 123RF Stock Photo)
Hives will be spotted all over the Valley. (Source: storyblocks.com) Hives will be spotted all over the Valley. (Source: storyblocks.com)
ASAP Bee Removal tries to remove the hives while the bees are alive but that's not always feasible. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) ASAP Bee Removal tries to remove the hives while the bees are alive but that's not always feasible. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

There’s a buzz right now among bee removal experts.

“The nature of the bees in Phoenix are [sic] different. We’ve got mean bees,” David Charlesworth said.

He owns ASAP Bee Removal in Phoenix and said the number of bees around town is already high.

[RELATED: 3 puppies dead, family injured, after bee attack at Glendale home]

“We did a swarm yesterday off of a 20-foot roof line that was probably 30,000 bees anyway, and that hive is huge,” said Charlesworth.

He said while his company always tries to do live swarm removal, they have to focus on public safety when aggressive bees become dangerous.

[RELATED: Beekeeper works to 'rehabilitate' Africanized honeybees]

“If you’ve got an active Africanized hive, you’re not going to pull it out alive. You just can’t,” said Charlesworth.

But local beekeeper Dan Punch sees the bees in a different light.

“Last year, we relocated 205 bee hives. Thirty percent of the food that you buy in the store or the restaurant is because these bees were here to pollinate them,” said Punch.

[READ MORE: Bees are endangered -- what does this mean for humans?]

And because of that, he’s developed special equipment for stucco homes and roofs to get the bees out of your hair but to safely save their honey.

But both agreed, with families enjoying the weather outside, what not to wear is more than just a fashion statement, but maybe the No.1 thing to keep you safe.

[READ MORE: Bee safety 101]

“Sunglasses, dark eyes, a dark t-shirt, that’s what you shouldn’t wear if you’re working in the garden,” said Charlesworth.

And experts said if you do get stung, try to use a credit card to swipe the stinger out of your skin then put a cold compress on it. If you start to swell or have trouble breathing in the first 20 minutes after getting stung, you want to call 911 immediately.

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Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Briana WhitneyBriana Whitney joined CBS 5/3TV in February 2018, and is no stranger to the sunshine and heat!

Click to learn more about Briana.

Briana Whitney

She’s from Northern California, but prior to coming to Phoenix, she reported at KIII-TV in Corpus Christi, TX for three years.

During her time in South Texas, she reported on several national stories. Some of the most memorable were the 2015 Wimberley floods, reporting for eight hours off the Gulf of Mexico during Hurricane Harvey in August of 2017, and reporting from the church shooting in Sutherland Springs in November of 2017.

Her general assignment reporting won her two Associated Press awards, six EMMA awards, and one Emmy nomination for a half-hour special she wrote, produced and hosted on the issue of child pornography.

Briana graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and during college had seven different internships at several news stations.

When she isn’t chasing breaking news or working on a feature story, Briana loves checking out the best restaurants in the Valley, and hiking or rollerblading around town. Briana is very happy to have made Arizona home!

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