A Vallejo Fire Department spokesman said the woman, whose name was not released, used lighter fluid Thursday evening to ignite the power pole about a block from her Vallejo home, the Vallejo Times-Herald reported Friday.
"There were a lot of bees around," the spokesman said.
However, he said there were no reports of stings and the flames were quickly extinguished.
Lt. John Whitney of the Vallejo Police Department said officers were initially apprehensive about exiting their vehicles to take the woman into custody.
"She thought they were killer bees," he said. "The officers didn't even stop. The bees were everywhere."