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Bee prepared: Tips on bee safety and what to do if you encounter a swarm

Bee prepared: Tips on bee safety and what to do if you encounter a swarm
Posted at 3:58 PM, May 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-02 12:28:59-04

With bee season in full swing, what can residents do if they spot a hive on their property?

RELATED: How to protect yourself from bee attacks

According to the Nevada Department of Agriculture, bees tend to be the most active from spring to fall when they are colonizing and setting up hives. The swarms are usually not harmful unless disturbed. 

There are 1,000 native species of bees found within Nevada, according to the Nevada Bee Identification Guide. These include bumblebees, honey bees, carpenter bees, sweat bees, mining bees, cuckoo bees, squash bees, leafcutter bees, mason bees and long-horned bees. In addition to bees, there are also wasps that mimic bee behaviors. 

Now if you have a hive on your property that needs to be removed, don't try to do it yourself. The Nevada Pest Management Association has a list of licensed removal services on its Bee Hotline at 702-385-5853 and on its website

WATCH: Live bee removal at a home in Henderson

JP the Beeman is a professional bee removal specialist and has a YouTube channel full of videos related to bees. 

The Clark County Fire Department also provided a list of safety tips when it comes to bees:

  • If you accidentally encounter bees, do not disturb them. Remain calm and quietly move away until bees are out of sight.
  • If bees attack, run away in a straight line and take shelter inside a car or building as soon as possible.
  • If under attack, use your arms and hands or shirt to shield your face and eyes from stings. Do not try to fight the bees. Do not scream. Do not swat at bees or wave your arms.
  • Do not jump into water or thick brush. If you jump into water, bees will attack you when you come up for air.
  • After an attack, bees will continue to be agitated by loud or humming noises such as barking dogs, lawnmowers, weed eaters and flashing lights.
  • If you are stung, remove the stinger by scraping it out and washing the area with soap and water and applying a cold pack to the sting site. When a bee stings, it leaves a stinger in the skin. This kills the bee so it can’t sting again but the venom remains.
  • If someone is stung by a bee and becomes dizzy, nauseated or has difficulty breathing, an allergic reaction to the sting may be occurring. This is a serious medical emergency and 911 should be called for immediate medical treatment.
  • If you are stung more than 10 times, you should seek medical attention as a precaution. Reaction to bee venom takes several hours, which may cause you to feel sick later.

Tips on preventing bee sting incidents:

  • The best way to avoid a stinging incident is to avoid bee colonies and prevent them from establishing a hive in your yard. Listen for buzzing indicating a nest or swarm of bees.
  • If you find a swarm or colony, leave it alone and keep your family and pets away. Contact a professional pest control company to remove the bees.
  • Check around your house and yard every four to six months for any signs of bees taking up residence.
  • Wear light-colored clothing when you are outdoors. Dark colors can attract bees.
  • If you are sensitive to bee stings, check with your doctor about bee sting kits and proper procedures, or if you start having a reaction to stings such as difficulty breathing call 911.
  • When you are outdoors or in a wilderness area, be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for bees
  • When working or hiking outdoors, consider carrying a small handkerchief or mosquito net device that fits over the head and can be carried in a pocket.