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Extreme heat is melting beehives in Arizona

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Extreme heat is melting beehives in Arizona. (Photo: KPHO/KTVK)

PHOENIX — The summer heat is creating a sticky situation for some Arizona homeowners. As temperatures stay high, some beehives are melting or breaking apart.

The result can be a hot mess, but the heat can also be an advantage – in most cases, beekeepers say the homeowners didn’t know about their bee problem until the dripping began.

Dale Cillian noticed several pieces of honeycomb in his backyard on Tuesday.

“It had literally melted out of one of our palm trees,” he said.

Mike and Cindy Heyberger found bees in their roof earlier this week after honey started melting out of their walls.

“I actually just did a removal today. It was this exact same thing where it had heated up and then the honeycomb fell down, and honey was running out of the bottom of their wall in the garage and that’s how they first noticed that,” said beekeeper Kyle Forsyth.

Beehives, especially newer colonies, will start to break apart when temperatures reach 115 to 120 degrees, Forsyth said. Bees that have just lost a hive to the sun aren’t necessarily more aggressive, he said, but bees that have lost a more established colony can be.

Forsyth recommends checking your property at least once a month for bees, especially areas like valve boxes, cracks in stucco, or under the eaves of a roof. He says bees that set up a colony in a place like that can be harder to remove, and warrant an immediate call to a professional.

Cillian, said he’s glad the sun exposed his hidden colony; without it, he could have easily stumbled upon the beehive while trimming his palm trees.

“This worked out pretty well that the heat melted it all down. That could have been disastrous,” he said.

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