An American apiarist has explained how pet owners should react in case of a swarm attack.
Cricket Aldridge from Phoenix, Arizona, said the insects may attack other creatures when they lack nutrition.
The head of the Garden Variety Bees apiary said that when this happened, bees would search beyond their regular foraging ground, which might put them in conflict with other animals also looking for food and water in the same space.
She said: “If there’s no pollen available, animals get stung when the bees come for their food or their water.”
Speaking to the news website AZCentral, Cricket revealed buying substitute pollen and placing it somewhere far away from the pet’s food could help to keep the bees away.
The founder of the Arizona Backyard Beekeepers group also advised pet owners to reconsider any water sources around their homes and urged them to take care of air conditioner leaks.
Cricket said that, if an assault happens, owners of pets should put a wet cloth on their animals and take them inside immediately. She added they should then call any nearby beekeepers or the local fire department.
Monica King, the deputy head of the Southern Arizona Beekeepers Association, added: “If you just notice the bees and they are just doing their thing, I would call the beekeepers.
“But if you’re under full attack, that’s when the fire department needs to be dispatched.”
The swarming of bees is generally a “natural process”, according to the British Beekeepers Association.
Experts say that anyone attacked by a swarm of bees should calmly walk away in a straight line and retreat indoors.
Dr Justin O. Schmidt is an entomologist at the University of Arizona.
He told the Scientific American: “When you see a bee buzzing near your head, I know it’s very satisfying to flap your arms. It just feels so good to swat at it – don’t do it!”
Dr Schmidt warned such a reaction would only “make everything worse” as the insects might feel threatened.