A horrific attack by a bee swarm in an Arizona neighborhood killed one man and injured a number of others.
At least six residents of the neighborhood were bitten “several times” during Thursday’s attack in the Tucson suburb of Marana, according to firefighters.
Three victims, who were reportedly stung “hundreds of times”, were transported for medical evaluation. One of them, a man who has not been identified by authorities, later died.
Three firefighters responding to emergencies were also stung on several occasions.
A large bee hive, about 100 pounds, was located in a neighborhood tree and removed.
“The bees killed most of the bees and took away the hive,” according to a statement from the Marana Police Department. “Although the area is much safer, there are still some evergreen bees. Please continue to exercise caution when in the area, ”area residents warned in the statement.
Most Arizona swarms involve Africanized honey bees, a cross between African and European bees, but they are not “killer bees,” according to the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center in Tucson.
“Africanized honey bees do not fly in angry swarms to randomly attack unlucky victims,” according to the center.
Swarms of bees, which leave their parental colony to start a new hive, are “generally docile of any type” as they have nothing to protect, the center noted. But bees can become “highly defensive” when protecting their hives.
A good “safety precaution” is to respect the “width of a four-lane highway” in relation to any hive of African bees, advises the center.
Just days before the attack in Arizona, two dogs were killed in a backyard in Los Angeles by an angry swarm of “thousands” of bees, said the owner, who was repeatedly stung while ‘he was trying to save the animals.
An average of 62 people died each year from bee, wasp and hornet stings from 2000 to 2017, according to a 2019 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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