Eloy bee swarm surrounds semi

A swarm of bees stopped for a rest on a semi truck Friday in Eloy. The bees were left alone and eventually moved on.

ELOY — When Eloy firefighters saw a swarm of bees covering a semi truck on Friday, they decided to let them be.

The district got a call around 4 p.m. on Friday from an Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper that a swarm of bees had landed on the front windshield of a semi truck parked at the Pilot truck stop on South Sunshine Boulevard, said Robert Maestas, a spokesman for the Eloy Fire District.

The bees weren’t stinging anyone and weren’t acting aggressively, so firefighters left the insects alone. The bees eventually moved on.

Maestas said the district typically leaves bee swarms alone unless the insects are stinging people or causing a public nuisance. If the department has to remove a swarm, it tries to call in a beekeeper or find another non-lethal method to move along the bees.

If the district has to destroy a swarm, firefighters have a foam and water mixture that can be used to kill the bees, he said. But it’s a method the district tries to use as a last resort.

Eloy first responders have had plenty of experience dealing with bee swarms over the years.

In December, a high-speed pursuit by law enforcement ended when angry bees started stinging officers and suspects.

The driver fleeing police collided with a vehicle in Eloy. The chase ended near Phoenix and Tyron avenues when the suspects fled the car into a nearby field.

Their actions stirred up a swarm of bees, which started stinging both officers and suspects, Eloy Police Department Public Information Officer Kristie Barnette said. One Eloy Police officer assisting in the chase was stung four times and was rescued by another Eloy officer who drove up with his patrol car, allowing the stung officer to jump into the vehicle.

Two years ago, an Eloy park had to be closed after tree trimmers aggravated a group of bees that swarmed around stinging anyone who came near.

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Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa is a reporter covering the city of Casa Grande and the surrounding area, as well as Central Arizona College. She can be reached at sadams@pinalcentral.com.