Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Wed, Dec. 11

Call beekeeper to collect unwanted bee hives

When out enjoying nature - either in your neighborhood or across the state - you may come too close to a number of bees, indicating a bee colony is nearby. Avoid disturbing bees, and call a beekeeper to relocate a newly established hive if you live in a residential area and don't want them on your property.

Honeybees are essential to our food production; bees pollinate about 130 agricultural crops such as fruits, almonds and other nuts and vegetables. While bees can be a nuisance for children, dogs and adults who get stung, they are valuable and amazing creatures. Teach children not to throw rocks at or otherwise try to threaten established bee colonies.

Many nooks and crannies serve as a hotel for bee colonies; they can build a home in cracks or crevices on buildings near service pipes, chimneys, attic vents or in outbuildings and sheds. Home and business owners concerned about a new bee colony can call beekeepers for help in removing the bees safely.

Don't be concerned about a few bees, but be aware that power equipment such as chain saws, weed eaters, mowers and drills can irritate bees. Check your work area before using power tools for bee nests in drainage pipes, wall cracks or abandoned junk that may be recently converted to a nest.

Consider wearing light clothes when hiking - dark colors are more threatening to bees. They have been known to sting the ankles of persons wearing black socks.

Stay clear of any discovered nests. Africanized bees look the same as European honeybees but can nest in smaller cavities and sometimes nest underground in animal burrows. Africanized bees also pollinate and produce honey, but aggressively respond to people within 50 feet of their nests. Running away from a disturbed nest to a sheltered area, and trying to cover the head and eyes from any attacking bees, is the best defense. Standing still and swatting at the bees will only result in more bee stings.

If stung, remove the stinger as soon as possible because most of the venom is released within one minute. Do not use fingers or tweezers to remove stingers from either a pet or a person. That would squeeze more venom under the skin, possibly increasing pain and swelling. Instead, try to scrape out the stinger with a credit card or pocket knife. Wash the stung areas with soap and water like any other wound to prevent infection. Apply ice to relieve pain and swelling. Consult a doctor or veterinarian in case of severe reactions to the sting. Seek medical attention if you are allergic to bee stings, have multiple bee stings, or if breathing becomes difficult.

Low volume of calls to smoke-free hotline

The volume of calls to 1-877-429-6676, the Arizona hotline for reporting violations of the Smoke-Free Arizona law (www.smokefreearizona.org ) is low, and averages less than a dozen calls per month concerning businesses in Yavapai County. Most complaints relate to improper signage issues or smoking where prohibited outdoors.

Since the Smoke-Free Arizona Act became law and we began educating business owners on how to create smoke-free environments for patrons and employees, Yavapai County Community Health Services (YCCHS) has followed up on nearly 300 complaint calls.

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