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Large swarm of bees forces Phoenix neighborhood indoors

Local firefighters told residents of the neighborhood to remain indoors while they used fire suppression foam against a bee hive that had formed in the window sill of a house.

By Fred Lambert

PHOENIX, March 22 (UPI) -- A large swarm of bees in a southwest Phoenix neighborhood prompted local emergency services to issue an alert warning residents to remain indoors on Saturday.

The bees originated from a hive that had developed in the window sill of a house in the West Valley area of the city. The owner was not home at the time, and a neighbor called emergency services to report the swarming insects.

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Firefighters came on scene, slapping at bees as they attempted to destroy the hive with fire-suppressing foam.

No injuries were reported outside of a man who told ABC15 he had been stung several times on his face, hands and back and a reporter from the station who suffered a sting on her scalp. Emergency workers said no one at the scene required medical treatment.

"The No. 1 thing to do is call a beekeeper, because they're going to be more experienced with bees, and they'll be able to gather the bees and take them somewhere else," Fire Capt. Seth Jenners told ABC15, adding that a call to 911 is appropriate if someone is in imminent danger.

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According to the Arizona Game and Fish Department, bees attack humans or domestic animals in urban areas as "a defensive reaction that occurs when the hive is accidentally or intentionally disturbed."

The department also notes that Africanized Honeybees -- aggressive hybrids between African and European honeybees, also known as "killer bees" -- have been established in southwestern states such as Arizona since first migrating into Texas from Central America in 1990.

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