COTTONWOOD -- Cottonwood firefighters were called to a residence in the 1700 block of Aspen Street on Sunday afternoon on a report that a swarm of bees had attacked two pet birds, several dogs and three people.
The home owner showed firefighters an area at the back of his garage where the bees were very active and aggressive over a distance of about 150 feet covering most of the property. He said the bees had attacked their birds, dogs and three adults on the property. Their African Grey parrot died almost immediately and their cockatoo succumbed to the multiple stings shortly thereafter.
Cottonwood Firefighters used Class A foam (similar to dish soap) to control the bees and located their hive in the walls of the garage. The owner said the bees had been there several years but had never bothered anyone before. They don't know of what may have provoked them. The occupants refused medical treatment but contacted their veterinarian for their pets.
Cottonwood Fire urges people to check around your house and yard at least once a month to see if there are signs of bees taking up residence. If you do find a swarm or colony, leave it alone and keep your family and pets away. Look in the Yellow Pages for a local beekeeper or a pest control company to deal with the bees.
To help prevent honey bees from building a colony in your house or yard, fill all cracks and crevices in walls with steel wool and caulk. Remove piles of junk. Honeybees will nest in an old soda can or an overturned flower pot. Fill holes in the ground, and cover the hole in your water valve box.
The University of Arizona offers information on Arizona Bees at their website: ag.arizona.edu/pubs/insects/ahb/