Bees swarm chemistry building at University of Arizona

Large swarm of bees found on U of A campus

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A swarm of bees invaded the University of Arizona campus Tuesday before beekeepers tended to the area and the bees moved on.

Thousands of bees were swarming around an irrigation box outside on the south side of the chemistry building Tuesday morning, along with a smaller swarm near the front of the building.

Hired beekeepers were on scene early in the afternoon spraying the area and removing a small sign that hundreds of bees had congregated on.

“Its a recipe for disaster,” said Francis Saitta, a retired beekeeper. “People have been killed by these bees, they are incredibly aggressive. You do not assume otherwise. When you see an established colony it needs to be eliminated especially in this high traffic area.”

However, the University of Arizona Communications office tells us it is typical for them to have to call beekeepers to campus this time of year.

By around 5 p.m. Tuesday, the majority of the bees had left campus.

Bees swarm this time of year and while Africanized bees can be dangerous, even deadly, experts on campus believe the swarm has moved on.

Bees on campus
Bees on campus (Source: KOLD News 13)

“The bees are moving,” said Katy Prudic, an assistant research professor of etymology. “They are busy, trying to keep everybody together and move to their new home, so in terms of risk, I would call it a low-risk situation.”

Irrigation drains and areas with small opening are the most likely places bees will try and form a hive, so experts say this is the time of year to check the outside of homes and businesses for any place that looks like it could house a beehive.

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