Spring typically season for bee migration

Spring typically season for bee migration
Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - 6:01pm

With warmer temperatures, bees tend to migrate and find new homes during the Spring causing some concern for area residents.

Monday afternoon emergency responders blocked off Silver Road in Las Cruces and advised residents to stay indoors after reports of a large bee swarm in the region.

"Get out of it as soon as possible," said New Mexico State University Extension Entomologist Dr. Carol Sutherland.

Sutherland said it's not uncommon for large bee swarms to migrate as temperatures warm up and bees begin looking for resources.

According to Sutherland, Africanized honey bees and European honey bees are the two more prevalent species in the area.

"We've had those since 1993," Sutherland said of when Africanized honey bees moved into the region.

Both species will swarm if a hive has become over-populated.

"The old queen would take off and she would have a certain number of followers that would go with her," Sutherland said.

She added bees will also swarm if they feel threatened.

"You can end up in a situation where you might end up with one or two or three stings or maybe several hundred stings," she said.

Such was the case last July… when Craig Benavidez was trimming an old cottonwood tree that was home to thousands of Africanized bees.

Benavidez was stung at least a hundred times as he was lowered from the tree.

He was unconscious and was treated at the hospital after the attack.

Sutherland said it's common for bees to build hives in trees especially if they're shaded.
But they'll also settle wherever they feel protected like underneath the skirting of mobile home or an attic of house.

Sutherland said if bees have settled in, it's best to call an expert to have the hive removed.

Emergency responders in Las Cruces will only assist if bees are swarming and pose a danger to the public.

If a hive is on private property, Sutherland advised to call pest control.

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