Protect yourself from swarms of bees

INDIO, Calif. - The Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District in Indio says it's swarming season. The office gets quite a few calls about what to do when you come across a bee hive, or worse -- get attacked.

"The bees are not going to be aggressive for no reason, they're going to have to have something that threatens them and makes them react," said Field Supervisor Rod Chamberlain.
The insects usually get bothered by loud noises. They are also attracted to strong odor or perfumes, and shiny objects.

Africanized Honey Bees, or "killer bees" came to the Coachella Valley in the early 2000s, known for being very protective of their home and easily disturbed, but a true breed is hard to come by, according to Chamberlain.

"There really is not an Africanized Honey Bee versus a European Honey Bee anymore. You cannot distinguish between the two. All bees will be aggressive if they're disturbed," he said.

Your safest bet is to stay away.

If they do attack you, run away. Do not swat or flail your arms. The movement could attract the bees.
Be prepared to run up to a quarter of mile until you can find shelter, that's about how far they'll stray from their hive.
As you get away, try to to protect your face and throat with  a jacket or shirt.
Avoid getting into water. Killer bees will wait until you come up for air.

Chamberlain said don't panic to best protect yourself and not harm the pollinating bees, call the district for advice or a professional to safely remove a bee hive near you.

"It can be a very serious situation. So if you're around bees, be aware and give them some distance and eventually they'll leave you alone."

If you have bees in your yard or near your business, you can call the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District for advice on having the hive safely removed at 760-342-8287.

There are also a number of professionals who can do the job.

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