Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Elderly woman suffers over a 1000 stings in Florida Yellow Jacket attack

Elderly woman in critical condition after suffering over 1000 Yellow Jacket wasp stings

LAKELAND - A Lakeland woman is in critical condition after surviving a horrific attack by hundreds of yellow jacket wasps.
Juanita Foshee, 81, wife was watering the lawn Saturday evening when she came across a yellow jacket nest in the ground, according to her husband Clyde Foshee.
Clyde said the attack started in their yard, but didn't stop until they got Juanita to the hospital.
"One of the nurses in the ER was stung by a yellow jacket that was in her hair," Foshee said.
Clyde said his wife's condition is guarded.
"Her condition is critical. The doctors have never seen anything like this before. They're amazed that she's still alive," Foshee said.
Clyde and Juanita Foshee have been married for 55 years. Imagine his shock when he got the call that she had been stung by more than 1,000 yellow jackets.
"Buddy, I couldn't believe my eyes," said Foshee. "There wasn't a place on her body that wasn't covered with yellow jackets."
Yellow jackets are known be aggressive, and will sting repeatedly if provoked. Experts say it would make sense that Juanita may have accidentally disturbed a nest in the ground.
"The yellow jackets actually prefer to be in the ground, they actually excavate the soil," said Jonathan Simkins of Insect IQ.
Juanita is at Lakeland Regional Medical Center.
"I can't imagine what kind of pain she went through. The doctor said she had over a thousand bites," Foshee said.
In addition to her external injuries, Clyde says his wife is suffering kidney damage. Right now, they aren't sure if she's going to make it.
Experts say a yellow jacket nest can house up to 5,000 yellow jackets. To avoid them, watch out for the warning signs.
"The one thing you want to look for is a flight pattern. You're gonna see yellow jackets flying in and out of an area -- that's a problem," Simkins said.
The Foshee family is hoping this mother of three survives her bout with the pesky insects.
"She's 81 years old and she's tough. She's gotta be tough to even survive this," said Foshee.

Entomologist's comment:

Our very own entomologist, Jonathan Simkins is intereviewed, explaining the very dangerous nature of these defensive insects. This year alone, dozens of Florida residents have suffered severe injury or death from stinging insect stings.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Georgia man demolishing shed killed by Honey Bees

Posted: Oct 11, 2010 4:52 PM EDT
By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  A Dougherty County man was stung to death in a bee attack Monday.
The 73 year old man was on a bulldozer on some property on Williamsburg Road, not far from U.S. 19 in Southeastern Dougherty County. The dozer bumped an old wooden porch post where honey bees had built a giant hive and they swarmed him. Tens of thousands of them attacked Curtis Davis.
Coroner Emma Quimbley says Curtis Davis was stung hundreds of times, too many to count. She told me it was so many stings there would have been little chance of anyone surviving this type of attack.
Several handfuls of dead bees doesn't begin to describe how many tens of thousands swarmed this field where 73 year old Curtis Davis lost his life.
"The bees were probably just three to four inches surrounding the bull dozer dead," said Battalion Chief Marty Leverett, Albany Fire Department.
More than an hour after Davis was attacked, bees still swarmed around the cab of the bulldozer.
"He got overcome by bees and he got stung. Actually he was unconscious when we arrived," said Leverett.
Firefighters battled the bees so paramedics could get to him.
"They had to use a CO2 extinguisher to brush the bees away from him and they used their turn out gear which gave them a pretty good bit of protection to go up and actually get him," said Leverett.
Still many got stung, including Beekeeper Dale Richter who found the honey bee hive inside an old porch rail being moved by the bull dozer.
"Probably between 20,000 and 30,000 honey bees there and with the tractor running and the fire fighters out here with all this equipment, it just kept them highly irritated," said Dale Richter, a beekeeper
"It was kind of scary they were all over your clothes," said Leverett.
While it's unusual for bees to swarm this late in the year, it's always better to check the debris before moving.
"People need to be aware when they're out building or destroying anything like this or pushing down equipment they need to really check for honey bees and yellow jackets," said Richter.
Some firefighters and several members of Davis' family were stung. Everyone has been treated for those stings.
Both the coroner and beekeeper met at the site late this afternoon. While honey bees only sting you once, they say hundreds of stings can be fatal.

see the rest of the story here

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Phoenix, AZ, Bees kill 2 dogs, severely injure family members 23 Sep 2010:

A swarm of bees attacked and killed two pet dogs Thursday at a home near 24th Street and Indian School Road in Phoenix.
Robert Tomkins said that by the time a neighbor called to tell him there was a swarm of bees by his home, he could only get two of his dogs indoors. He said a couple hundred bees got inside the house, stinging him about 50 times. He said his wife and young son were also stung.Two dogs could not be saved in time -- Lucky, a Dalmatian and Baby, a Labrador-pit bull mix. They were were stung hundreds of times and died from their injuries."They’re like family. It’s hard. It’s like losing a loved one. It hurts. We still have one at the vet -- don’t know if he’s going to make it or not," said Tomkins. “We pulled 35 stingers out of my dog’s ears -- that’s just his ears."Tomkins said he wants to caution others to be aware and alert -- the bee attack happened faster than he could ever have imagined.

See more of the story here:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

San Marco, TX: Man survives over 1,200 Bee stings near his home

September 7, 2010
San Marcos Daily Record
Anita Miller

When Lamar LaCaze named the road that leads to his house after his wife, he figured living on Lois Lane made a good case that he was Superman.

After he was nearly killed by a swarm of bees last week, his wife's buying in.

"Anyone who can survive that many bee stings is Superman," Lois LaCaze said Saturday from her husband's bedside at Seton Hospital in Kyle.

Lamar LaCaze, 65, longtime San Marcos barber, was attacked by bees while mowing Aug. 31. Emergency room workers pulled more than 1,200 stingers out of his body and whole bees from his ears, nose, mouth and throat.

The attack came just after he started mowing on the property off FM 150 between IH-35 and Hwy. 21.

"I made one loop and started up a little hill. It wouldn't go, so I took a right. The bees — like that — just flashed up in my face," he said.

He got off his tractor and fell. Intending to get to a water trough and get his head under, he made it "about 25 yards" before being unable to crawl over a fence. "I couldn't stand up. They just keep buzzing me."

LaCaze had his cell phone. He managed to open his eyes enough to call his wife "but it went to voice mail, she was working." Then he tried his son Trey. "It rang six times and I hung up."

Sometime around then Trey got home and had grown concerned about his father's whereabouts. Then his cell phone rang again. "I'm in bees," his father told him.

Trey rushed to the scene and initially searched a different area. When he did find his father he was slumped over the fence. "He was not moving. When I went to pull him out he looked up. His head was black, solid bees. It looked like a bee hive on his head."

Trey threw buckets of water on his father and a neighbor, Rudy Cisneros, came with a fire extinguisher. Lamar's granddaughter called 911 and when Kyle firefighters arrived, Trey noted they "suited up" before spraying the attackers and his father with foam.

Five days after the suicide bombing — bees die once they inject their stinger — Lamar LaCaze was a frightening sight. The swelling had subsided, the family said, but  the area around his eyes was still blackened, one ear looked as if its lobe had exploded, and black bloody spots dotted his face, head, neck and arms.

Saturday was the first day he could really open his eyes, and he coughed intermittently.

Luckily, he was wearing heavy blue jeans and stingers didn't penetrate the starched fabric.

Rushed to Seton by EMS, he was a center of attention.

"It was like you see on TV," his wife recalls, with medical professionals  completely surrounding her husband. When they gave her the jeans they'd cut off of him, "they said be careful getting things out of his pockets — they're full of stingers."

The family was on Saturday anticipating his release from the hospital within days. After that, there will be outpatient followups until his body has completely processed all the bee venom. "It ruined my kidneys sort of. My heart enzymes are bad," he said.

The family figures he encountered the bees around 2 p.m., and that about an hour and a half elapsed before Trey arrived on the scene. "I didn't see one bee. I seen a thousand," LaCaze recalls. "They were relentless."

Each of the family members experienced their own nightmare that day. Lamar LaCaze flatly didn't think he was going to make it. His wife — after a mad dash from San Marcos — thought this was the time she would lose him. His son, on first glance, thought he was already dead.

"There are so many things this venom in your body can cause. We're just pleased he's with us — just happy he's alive," Lois said.

The hive that had streamed out of a hollow tree is still on their property. They want them destroyed, but haven't yet been able to arrange that.

Lois LaCaze was employed at the Hays County Extension Office when the "killer bee" invasion occurred in the 1990s and back then when interest was high, "we had people signed up to go get hives."

No such list exists now. "I'm sure there's somebody out there, and we're going to keep looking," she said.

To confirm whether the swarm was actually Africanized honeybees, or hybrids with European honey bees, or a mix, would mean sending samples to A&M. "You've got to collect them and send them in and that's a dangerous situation," Lois LaCaze said. Still, she's like to try. "The neighbors want to know," she said.

"They're not worth anything, they don't even make much honey," Lamar LaCaze said of the aggressive bees.  "I don't want any one of them to get away. I don't want them to go nowhere else."

He also won't be climbing back on that tractor any time soon. "I don't want to go outside this hospital without one of those bee suits," he said with a chuckle and cough. "They have no mercy," he said of the bees.

Bee attacks typically occur when a hive is swarming, which Africanized bees do much more frequently than European honey bees.  Attacks can be precipitated by loud noise and vibrations like those made by LaCaze's tractor, A&M says, noting that attacks have been triggered by those activities "up to 100 feet or more" from the hive and "pedestrian activity up to 50 feet " away.

Bees attack the victim's head because they are attracted to animal breath, according to A&M. Other attractants include "hair, dark colors, new mown grass, citrus-scented candles and perfume."

A&M has information on bee proofing homes and landscapes and more at

"I've heard about these bees, you know, but I never thought about any of them just attacking like this," Lamar LaCaze says. "I didn't even see them coming. All of a sudden they were just there."

LaCaze has owned and operated Lamar's Barber shop for 38 years. He's been barbering in San Marcos for 46. The shop remains open during his recovery.

Read the rest of the story here.

Entomologist's Comment:

African Honey Bee attacks will continue to occur with increasing frequency. Here are some links with helpful info:

Our African Bee info page

Killer Bees in Orlando during a 6 hour removal process:


University of Florida's African Honey Bee Extension & Education Program

The African Honey Bee FAQ

Frequently asked questions about African honey bees, from FDACS - Division of Plant Industry
Bee Removal information and regulations from University of Florida's African Honey Bee Extension & Education Program

Honey Bee Research & Extension Lab

University of Florida's Honey Bee Research & Extension Lab

Richard Martyniak, M.Sc., Entomologist

Sunday, September 12, 2010

San Antonio, TX: Bee atttack sends two men to hospital

Sep 11, 2010

Two men were stung at least 30 times each at their far Southwest Side home by swarming bees Saturday, city fire officials said.
A firefighter who showed up to help also was stung, a Fire Department commander said.
Neither the two residents of the home in the 6100 block of Frio Valley nor fire Capt. Brian Soberalski were seriously injured, although the two residents were taken to Southwest General Hospital for treatment, said acting Battalion Chief Jarrett Vocke.
He said neither man appeared badly hurt, although both were stung “at least” 30 times, likely more.
It was not clear if the bees were Africanized killer bees.
Vocke said the men were doing yardwork when they came close to shrubs in the backyard.
A large swarm of bees attacked the men, who retreated to the home and summoned emergency responders.
“The bees were swarming pretty heavily when first responders arrived,” Vocke said. “But they quickly calmed down, so we were not required to spray” them with water to stop them from attacking, he said.
Vocke said the swarm, while large, was not a threat to neighbors.
But they were a threat for Soberalski, whose engine company was one of the first to arrive.
Vocke said at least one bee crawled over the firefighter's collar and under his fire hat, stinging him on the head.
He was not treated, Vocke said.
“He wasn't fazed by it at all,” Vocke said. “He continued on the job, 'cause he grew up on a ranch, and he's used to it.”
Vocke said city vector control officers would be investigating today to make sure “that the bees are no longer a problem,” or to dispose of them if they are.

read the rest of the story here 

Entomologist's Comments:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

African Honey Bees Kill farmer in Guyana Rice Field, injure others

GEORGETOWN, Guyana — Hundreds of Africanized "killer" bees have stung a rice farmer to death in the South American nation of Guyana. It is the second such death of a Guyanese farmer in two weeks.

Police identify the latest victim as 45-year-old Jerome O'Brian Scott. A statement says Scott and two other men were swarmed Thursday as they headed home from a rice farm in Liverpool Village.

Read the rest of the story here.

And another account of the Bee attack:

Bees attacked and killed a farmer yesterday in an area aback of Liverpool Village on the Corentyne as he was returning home from tending to his rice field.
Dead is 45-year-old Jerome O’Brian Scott also known as ‘Bunch’ of Liverpool Village.
According to his son, Michael Scott, he and his father left home in the morning to go “in the backdam to bail water from the rice field”, after heavy rainfall on Wednesday.

Jerome O'Brian Scott
After they had completed their work in the backdam, Michael Scott said, they saw a dragline which was clearing drains in the same area. As the operator was making his way out with the machine, he added, they decided to join him for a ride out.
After about fifteen minutes on the machine, he told Stabroek News, “honey bees attack we from nowhere. Me just knock the glass and the man stop and open and we start fuh run.” He said he held his father’s hand as they ran and together they plunged into a nearby trench. Most of the bees were swarming his father, Michael said, and he (Jerome) took another direction. He said when he realized this he called after his father, but he was nowhere in sight.
Then he heard “some groans” and saw his father who appeared to be experiencing some difficulty.
Michael said he told his father, “come in the corner hay” and took him out of the water, even though bees continue to swarm them. He said his father then told him, “son me can’t mek am, gwan [go on]“.
He tried to carry away some of the bees by going away, he said, and at the same time seek help. He found another farmer, ‘Nutman’, who was on a horse, and related the story to him. They both returned to where his father was but “when we meet back deh, he just lie down like he dead with he face inside a water”.
They went back to look for a tractor to transport him home. They found John Corlette, another rice farmer, who brought his father’s body out and took it to the station and then to the Port Mourant Hospital.
Jerome’s wife Pamela Scott, said that he would “go backdam and come home everyday, but me din know that he nah guh come home today,“ as she broke down in tears.

read the rest of the story here
Entomologist's Comments:

4 Children die after honey bee attack

Sept 11, 2010 IBN Live, India

Keonjhar (Orissa), Sep 11 (PTI) Four children including a girl of a family were killed in bee attack in Orissa's Keonjhar district, police said today. 

The incident took place at Sapakanta village under Bansapal block in tribal dominated Keonjhar district yesterday when the children (all below 8-years of age) were guarding their family corn field, they said. The wild bees stung the children when they were sitting on a wooden platform erected to guard the corn field. 

While a four year-old boy died on the spot, two others succumbed to bee attack on their way to hospital. Another died while undergoing treatment at the district headquarter hospital, a health department official said.

Entomologist's Comments:

Tuscon man hospitalized after honey bee attack at his home

Sep. 10, 2010

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD)- A Tucson man is hospitalized after being attacked by a swarm of bees on the city's east side.

It happened at 10:45 a.m. Friday in the 9000 block of East Chickamauga Street, near Broadway and Camino Seco, said Capt. Trish Tracy, a Tucson Fire Department spokeswoman.
Tucson Fire Department responded to a call from a man in his 70's saying he had been attacked by a swarm of bees, Tracy said.

Firefighters arrived to find the man stung more than 100 times, Tracy said. He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

A bee removal specialist was headed to the scene to assist with the bee removal, Tracy said. Pima Animal Care Center officials were responding to take care of the man's dog, who was also stung.

Stay tuned to KOLD News 13 live at 5 p.m. and for updates.

Entomologist's comments:

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fire Chief describes scene at Prescott, AZ bee attack that killed 2 horses, injured 1 more

Bee swarm attacks three horses, two dead

September 3, 2010

By Neil Clarkson

A fire marshal has described the harrowing sight that greeted firefighters called to save three horses under attack from bees.

"These horses were dying right in front of their eyes and there was nothing they could do about it."
Firefighters sprayed the swarm with a mix of foam and water, but it came too late to save two of the horses, who were covered in thousands of stings.

Fire Marshal Charlie Cook, of the Central Yavapai Fire District, in Prescott Valley, Arizona, described to Horsetalk how firefighters responded to the call on Monday.

Cook said the call came in around 4pm of three horses under attack from a bee swarm at Coyote Springs, on the fringe of Prescott Valley.

The fire station was just six or seven minutes away, but it was too late for the horses.

"When we got to the scene, thousands and thousands of bees were attacking these three horses.

"One of the firefighters said it was one of the worst calls he had ever been on. These horses were dying right in front of their eyes and there was nothing they could do about it."

Cook said huge welts were already visible on the horses when the fire crews arrived.

Firefighters went through 1500 gallons of water which was sprayed on the bees in a mixture with foam. The combination suffocates bees, he says.

A vet called to the scene euthanised two of the horses. A third was saved, but Cook said today he was uncertain how it was faring.

There were around 100 horses on the property, but the bees had only attacked three new horses introduced to the property.

"The bees never attacked the others," he said. "They are obviously territorial in a certain kind of way. The bees obviously knew they were new horses."

Cook said the owner of the property "knew there had been bees living in the walls of the barn for several years, but they had never caused a problem." (see my comments below-RMM)

A beekeeper was called and the walls were stripped to reveal a number of hives, the largest standing about 1.6 metres tall, 60 centimetres wide and about 12 centimetres deep.

Cook said the lesson to be learned was to call a beekeeper early when bees set up hives in an inappropriate place.

For a small fee the beekeepers will, where appropriate, relocate the bees to a more suitable environment, where they can be kept for their honey or to pollinate plants.

He said once the bees become a nuisance and fire crews are called, there is little choice but to kill them for safety reasons.

Cook noted there had been a lot of bee-related calls in Arizona this year.

See the rest of the story here:

Entomologist Comments:

Reading the fire chief's description of this tragic sting event sends chills through me, as we've encountered similar situations, and in most cases, could have been prevented with proper vigilance and action.

Why the owner of the horse facility would knowingly leave active honey bee colonies in a working barn leaves me scratching my head, AND, this is in KILLER BEE territory!! (I normally don't use the term "killer bee" alone, but in this case, I think it's warranted).

I encounter this attitude daily here in Florida, where we have an active and growing KILLER BEE population. We are seeing them move into Florida's prime horse country, near Ocala.( Check this blog post out from just last week, right near horse operations).

Clients often believe that since Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has been affecting honey bee populations here in the U.S. , any wild honey bee colony found should be left alone, in order to boost bee populations. While it's true, CCD has reduced bee populations, the affected bees are only in managed bee operations, those kept by beekeepers, from huge commercial operations down to hobby beekeepers. 

Feral (wild) bee populations are not affected by CCD, and are actually exploding here in Florida.

This is so important, let's see it again: Feral bee populations are not affected by CCD, and are exploding here in Florida.

Why such the increase?  KILLER BEES!  Yes, African Honey Bees are a vigorous race of bees, well suited for life in the subtropical clime we find here in Florida. And, they likely have evolved with pathogens & pests that most researchers suspect are a probable cause of CCD. So, it's natural that this vigorous, well adapted bee would do very well in Florida.

So it begs the question. Why would one leave a feral bee colony in a building that houses people, pets or animals? 

I think it's largely due to ignorance, and this ongoing belief, strongly held by some, that bees are naturally gentle, and only sting when provoked. So, it's up to the experts to educate the public, especially those that are at greater risk, including equine operations, about the dangers of these 'new breed' of bees. African Bee infestations can be managed properly, greatly reducing the chances of a sting event, but it takes a new attitude, and working with stinging insect specialists. Beekeepers and standard pest control operators are ill-equipped to control these infestations. (Why not? see our post)

We are educating citizens, companies, utilities, firefighters, police and any interested group about the African Honey Bee and issues surrounding it. Our entomologists give presentations and offer consultations to help you manage this threat and we have specialists that remedy infestations daily. Give us a call at 800.343.5317, send us an email, or visit our website to schedule a presentation or for more info and help.

Richard Martyniak, M.Sc. Entomologist

helpful links:
Our website

University of Florida's African Honey Bee Extension & Education Program

The African Honey Bee FAQ

Frequently asked questions about African honey bees, from FDACS - Division of Plant Industry
Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services - Division of Plant Industry

Honey Bee Research & Extension Lab

University of Florida's Honey Bee Research & Extension Lab
The official bee keeping association in the State of Florida

Is your Bee removal company or indivdual licensed?

Structural or Landscape bee removal requires a pest control certification from the Florida Dept. of Agriculture. You can check by Applicator, or Company here. Don't let yourself fall prey to an unlicensed service provider!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Prescott AZ: Two horses euthanized after bee attack

8/31/2010 3:16:00 PM The Daily Courier 

Two horses euthanized after bee attack

Two horses were euthanized Monday after being attacked by a swarm of thousands of bees in Coyote Springs just off Kelly Road.

firefighters answered the call at 4 p.m., they found a swarm of
thousands of bees in a field attacking three horses who were covered in
large welts, said Charlie Cook, spokesman for the Central Yavapai Fire

"Firefighters used 2,000 gallons of
water and foam to try to get the bees away from the horses," Cook said.
"The bees only attacked the three new horses that arrived at the ranch
last week."

The property is a large horse ranch with 100 horses, Cook said.

A veterinarian on the scene treated three horses, but two of them were so badly injured that they were euthanized, Cook said. 

A beekeeper came to help remove bees as well, Cook said.

firefighters tore down the walls of a wooden barn, they found multiple
hives," Cook said. "One hive was two feet wide, five and one half feet
tall and six and one half inches deep." 


owner of the place said he knew there were bees in the barn, but they
never bothered him, any other people or the animals so he just left them
alone, Cook said.

"This is one of the worst bee calls we've been called out for," Cook said.

said firefighters with bee protection headgear, one engine, and a
battalion chief were on the scene for two hours taking care of the

The Central Yavapai Fire District
recommends that if you find bees on your property in a wall or other
unusual place that you call a beekeeper or bee removal service to take
care of the problem properly. 

"If bees attack
people or animals, all firefighters can do is foam them and kill them,"
Cook said. "A beekeeper can properly remove bees to a place where they
can be beneficial and used to pollinate fruit trees and other crops."

See the rest of the story here
Entomologist's Comment:

This tragedy was completely preventable. Most bee attacks come from colonies that people know about. They think that the bees are gentle because "the bees are not attacking, at this time, so they must not be African Honey bees, aka, Killer Bees".

Well folks, events like this are happening with more frequency as the African Honey Bee increases it's range and concentration. We encounter mean bees EVERY DAY, and find that lack of concern for nearby bee nests very surprising.

Please, if you have bees in or near structures or trees that are near horses, contact us. We will remove the bees properly, so you have no worries about a sting event. Call us: 800-343-5317 or visit our website at

Richard Martyniak, M.Sc., Entomologist (and expert bee wrangler!)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Phoenix, AZ, Family attacked by bees

Swarm of Angry Bees Attack Family

Updated: Monday, 30 Aug 2010, 10:42 PM MDT
Published : Monday, 30 Aug 2010, 10:24 PM MDT
TOLLESON - A swarm of bees have attacked a family at a west valley home, near 121st Ave and Southern.
Firefighters used foam to combat the bees, and carried the children out of the home covering them in sheets.
Three adults, two children, and several horses and dogs were stung, maybe hundreds of times.
One of the family members may have been allergic to bees.
None of the injuries are reportedly life-threatening.
If you are attacked by bees, the best advice is to keep running. They will eventually tire.


Bees attack family at city park in Dania Beach, Fla.

DANIA BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- A family was sent to the hospital after being stung by bees at a South Florida park.
Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue crews responded to the scene at Greenbelt Park, located near Griffin Road and Northwest 10th Avenue near the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport, Monday.
Tamera Doyle, her daughter and her two grandchildren, ages 2 and 11 months, were stung by bees at the park. Reportedly, the family was rolling down a hill at the park when they disturbed a beehive. "We were at the park. We were walking. We sat down, let the kids play, run around. All of a sudden, my daughter started yelling at me. Something, I couldn't even understand what she was saying at first," said Doyle. "I looked at her, and I just saw swarms around her and the 2-year-old, so I ran and grabbed the baby, the 2-year-old. I thought the 11-month-old in the stroller was far enough out of the way that he wasn't getting swarmed, but he was."
Doyle's daughter called 911, but the bees had already surrounded the family. "There was bees everywhere. I mean, they were in our ears. They were between her and I. They were everywhere, in our clothing, " Doyle said.
Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue transported the family to Broward General Medical Center. Meanwhile, deputies and county workers blocked off the area from which they believe the bees came.
The children did not have an allergic reaction to the bee stings, and the family is expected to survive. Doyle said, "I've seen it on TV, and you don't realize how terrible it is until you're the one being swarmed, and not even you, until you're watching your children be swarmed."

See the rest of the story here

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rock Climbing bee attack victim tells story of being stung 1500 times

Rock Climber Decribes Mt. Lemmon Bee Attack; Stung "Upwards of 1,500 Times," He Says

mackley hospital shot.jpg
Image: Courtesy of Robert Mackley
Robert Mackley spent six days in the hospital after being attacked by bees on a rock-climbing route earlier this month.
Robert Mackley was counting the number of bee-sting-marks on his hand the other day, just to help the time go by.
He got to 90 on one hand, before he got to the wrist.
The 26-year-old Tucson rock climber is still recuperating from a nightmare-inspiring, August 10 attack by "killer" bees on Mt. Lemmon. He says he was stung about 1,500 times while fixed in place at the top of a popular climbing route.
"I was hoping to get back to work this week," says Mackley, who works as a carpenter when he's not out scaling cliffs. "I don't think that's going to be possible. I'm still pretty weak."
Last week, following news reports that contained sketchy details about what happened -- including one TV news report that claimed an equipment failure was to blame -- Mackley published his own account of the calamity.

"I'm still covered in bee stings," Mackley says, adding that the stings are like open wounds or embedded cactus needles. The hospital staff tweezed as many as they could.
"Some they pulled out by putting, like, Elmer's Glue on my skin, letting it dry, then peeling it off," he says.
Mackley, his girlfriend, their young child and their two friends, Nick and Jim, had decided to attack an old favorite of Mackley's that fateful afternoon, a route called "Resume Builder." Rated a moderate 5.8 in technical difficulty, it also happened to be the first climbing route that Mackley had ever tackled as a newbie climber several years ago.
Mackley led the near-vertical, 75-foot route and tied into the metal anchors sunk into the rock at the top. Nick went up next, and soon they were both hanging from the gear, feet resting on small ledges.
Soon after Jim had scrambled up, Mackley says, the bees arrived, buzzing loudly, and began their surprise attack.

atc device.jpg
Mackley lowered the man he had just belayed. That was the easy part -- which was why Jim ended up with "only" about 100 stings. Then had to slam an ATC device (see picture at right) onto the dangling rope for Nick, who had never rappelled before. Five minutes later, he was down -- with about 400 stings.
Unfortunately for Mackley, he had sort of over-tied himself into the anchors at the top of route, given the situation. He'd expected to hang there for a while, showing Nick the ropes, and in the attack the two knots he'd tied through the anchors and into his climbing harness had cinched tight.
Suddenly, his life seemed to depend on untying a figure-eight knot and a clove hitch. But he couldn't do it. Minutes later, his hands were too swollen and numb to even try. He had to hang there and take it.
Rescuers got Mackley down a couple of hours later.

Read the rest of the story here:


This type of event is becoming more prevalent as African bees continue to spread through the southern U.S. And the description of getting the knot tangled in the ropes and hardware is something we hear over and over again from tree climbers here in Florida. You can bet you respect bees after such an incident.

Richard Martyniak, M.Sc., Entomologist

Monday, August 23, 2010

85 yr. old man stung in bee attack begins 2 week rehab

An 85-year-old man who was stung 500 times in a bee attack last week has been discharged from the hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said Thursday.

Willard Duncan, who was hospitalized in critical condition at University Medical Center Brackenridge eight days ago on August 11, has now begun a full-time, two-week rehabilitation program, said Verda Duncan, 79.

Willard Duncan.jpg
“He still has some swelling,” Verda Duncan said. But “he’s getting better. He’s getting back pretty good.”

The Duncan family —- which includes the Duncan’s 11 children (ranging in ages from 38 to 60), 32 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren —- has been paying closer watch of Willard Duncan since the attack.

Go here for the rest of the story

Bees that killed 2 dogs not African Killer Bees

The bees that fatally stung two dogs last month were honey bees and not the aggressive Africanized strain of bee.

Tests done separately – one in Florida and one in Arizona – came back with the same results, said Casey Mahoney, spokeswoman with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

“They are European honey bees – our native bees,” she said. (note: Honey Bees, Apis mellifera are considered exotic species -- RMM)

As to what happened to the two dogs at a home in Lebanon, Tenn., she said:
“We can’t explain it.”

On July 18, Susan Garner, who had been doing yard work, had walked into her home briefly to get a drink of water.

She heard her Labrador retriever Katie making a fuss and went back out to find her covered with bees. Katie, who had been on a long lead line, died almost immediately.

Susan and husband Kevin Garner’s other dog, a Boston terrier named Petey, was also stung repeatedly but was still alive. He was taken to a veterinary clinic where he died two days later.

The bees had been swarming in a large bundle in a nearby tree at the time of the incident. That’s a time when even bees are particularly docile.

“Bees sting generally in defense of their colony,” she said. “When they’re in a swarm they’re looking for a new home and they’re not defending, so this is odd,” she said.

Apiarists in a couple of states with Africanized bees said they knew of no cases when they had attacked an animal or a person while swarming, she added. (Note: we have encountered African honey bee swarms in Florida that are extremely defensive! -- We ALWAYS recommend removal of feral honey bee colonies when pets, small children or handicapped are nearby -- RMM)

Go here for the rest of the article..

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Arizona: This is why you hire a pro: Bees attack couple in Arivaca

Bees attack couple in Arivaca

By Alex Dalenberg, Green Valley News
Published: Saturday, August 14, 2010 9:18 PM MST

An Arivaca couple and their seven-month-old baby were airlifted to a Tucson hospital on Monday after an attempt to get rid of a bee hive near their home went bad.

Sheriff’s deputies and the Arivaca Fire Department found the couple in a pool of water at about 12:30 p.m. with their baby in the 16000 block of West Arivaca Road, according to a report from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.

The couple said they’d been attacked by bees and that both were allergic. They were taken to the fire station and then flown to University Medical Center in Tucson.

The father had multiple stings on his chest, back, arms and legs and was wearing only coveralls. The mother also had multiple stings. The baby was not stung, but was taken to the hospital with the parents. The family was not identified.

The mother told deputies that her husband was trying to get rid of a hive on their property but that when he sprayed it with bee killer, the bees became agitated and started stinging them.

Jerry Young, who owns Buggerbees, a Pima County Bee Removal service, said that since 1993, all bees in Arizona have become Africanized and are much more aggressive. He said the mostly docile European honeybees have slowly been hybridized from breeding with a more aggressive breed of African honey bees which were introduced to the Western Hemisphere in the 1950s.

Since the Africanized bees migrated to Arizona 17 years ago, the bee business has become completely different, Young said.

“With European bees, a couple dozen would attack,” he said. “With Africanized bees, all the bees attack you. That could be thousands of bees.”

A day after the Arivaca attack, a man was stung hundreds of times after he came across a bee hive on Mount Lemmon in Tucson. In June, seven people were stung by bees that swarmed an apartment complex in Casa Grande.

Last year, a Green Valley man was stung an estimated 1,000 times when he and his dog were swarmed nearly their home while on a walk. The man recovered, but the dog died in the attack.

Because bees have become so much more aggressive, homeowners shouldn’t try to remove the bees on their own.

“If people say their grandfather treated his bees, he probably did, but it’s different now,” he said. “Steve Irwin got killed by something that’s not considered dangerous (a stringray). Bees are considered dangerous. It astounds me people take it so lightly.”

[See rest of the  article here...]

Thousands raised for horse ranch stung by bee removal cost

01:01 AM PDT on Sunday, August 15, 2010
The Press-Enterprise
Horse enthusiasts in western Riverside County are warning property owners to be on the lookout for hives, as they help out a local ranch reeling from the deaths of two horses and a plethora of so-called "killer bees."
Supporters of the Wagon Wheel ranch in Menifee gathered Saturday for a fundraiser aimed at defraying the costly bee removal that followed the June discovery of more than 400,000 Africanized bees on the property.
The barbecue dinner and other activities at Wild West Arena in Winchester preceded a horse ride in memory of two Tennessee walkers killed by the bees when they got too close to a large hive.
Story continues below
Rich Linton / Special to The Press-Enterprise
Hannah Schaffer, daughter of ranch owner Christa Schaffer, prepares Bravo for a tribute ride to remember two horses that died after being attacked by the bees.
Scoop and Charger, both boarders at the ranch, were swarmed by the aggressive bees and later died from their injuries.
Following the hive attack, exterminators found hives in a pepper tree and other areas that housed nearly a half-million bees around the ranch. Riverside County crews demolished two buildings and some trees that were bee hot spots. But the ranch is stuck with the bill.
Ranch owner Christa Schaffer said because of the lost time working at the ranch the debt would be tougher to pay off.
"It's not like I had $20,000 sitting there for a bee removal fund," Schaffer said.
Africanized bees have become increasingly common in Southern California, as the deadly bees breed with their tamer European counterparts and grow in numbers. They were first discovered in Blythe in far eastern Riverside County in 1994. They have made their way across most of Southern California.
Story continues below
Ranch owner Christa Schaffer, right, greets Marla Quinci at the fundraiser to help her pay the costs from an attack by Africanized bees a few months ago.
Landowners must be vigilant, said Robert Daniel, an exterminator in the Temecula area who spoke at Saturday's fundraiser for Schaffer's ranch.
"You have to approach every hive and every bee call as if they are Africanized," Daniel said.
He said in the past year he has responded to more calls for bee removal than in the past eight years.
"They're definitely on the rise," Daniel said.

See rest of the story here....

Thursday, August 12, 2010

12 Yr. old San Angelo, TX Boy dies after bee attack

— A 12-year-old Wall boy died Wednesday night after he was run over by a tractor he was operating near his home, Tom Green County sheriff officials said Thursday morning.
Jason Block, who was shredding around his family’s property, was attacked by a swarm of bees about 7 p.m., sheriff spokesman Lt. Bill Fiveash said. While he tried to get away from the bees, the farm equipment ran over the boy, Fiveash said.
Fiveash said the boy was flown to Shannon Medical Center, where he died from a combination of bee stings and blunt force trauma. An autopsy will not be performed.
Sgt. Johnny Walker is investigating the case for the sheriff’s office.
Deputies were called to 5550 Farm to Market 765 about 7:15 p.m. for a major crash, according to an incident report filed Thursday. When they arrived five minutes later they found a man, later identified as the boy’s father Carl Block, leaning over an unconscious boy with a blanket trying to keep bees off their bodies.
According to the report, medics arrived and placed the boy in an ambulance. At 7:40 p.m. AirMed1 arrived and flew the boy to Shannon.
Block told deputies he received a call from Blake Wilde, who had been driving through the field behind the house when he saw Jason pinned between the shredder and Block’s pump house, surrounded by bees.
Wilde called 9-1-1 and Block, who wasn’t home at the time of the incident, the report states.

Click here for the rest of the article


New Jersey Man sets self on fire trying to remove bees

August 1, 2010: WESTWOOD NJ  - A 29-year-old man was severely burned Sunday evening after attempting to rid his property of a beehive, police said.
The unidentified victim, of Cardinal Lane, poured several chemicals on the hive, which was outside the residence, said Westwood Police Chief Frank Regino.
"The chemicals reacted...and he was set on fire," Regino said.
A neighbor tried to extinguish the flames, Regino said. A 911 emergency call came into police at 8:13 p.m., and the man, who was severely burned, was airlifted from a field in nearby Washington Township and taken to St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston. The house did not catch fire, Regino said.
 - Evonne Coutro

click for the rest of the article

Austin, TX - Bee attack victim still in critical condition

Elderly man stung 500+ times by bees

Critical but stable after honeybee swarm

Updated: Wednesday, 11 Aug 2010, 6:59 PM CDT
Published : Wednesday, 11 Aug 2010, 12:34 PM CDT
AUSTIN (KXAN) - An elderly man stung more than 500 times in a bee swarm was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, but officials were unable to find a hive.
The man was in critical but stable condition on Wednesday after the incident on the city's East Side.
Emergency crews transported the man, who is 85, to University Medical Center Brackenridge .
He was stung while doing yard work at 1000 East 13th Waller St. , near 13th and Waller streets .
A friend of his found him lying in the road and called 911.
“I turned around the corner and seen Mr. Duncan laying on the ground," said Wayne William. "He was lying on his side. His hair was golden and had bees swarming all around. You step out 10-20 feet and there was another perimeter of bees like they built a barricade around him.”
“I got stung in the back of my head and that was my cue to get the hell out of here and that’s what I did,” he said.
Crews arrived to find him in the street with the hundreds of bee stings. Though he was conscious, officials said the man was unable to talk, badly swollen in his face. The man even had bees in his nose, officials said.
In addition, a paramedic received a few treatable stings.
Officials worked for nearly two hours to find the hive, unsure of the location of the bee source, but were unable to locate one. Instead, a beekeeper said it may have been a moving swarm hiding in a grass patch - a patch the victim may have inadvertently mowed over.
“And they get pretty defensive. Like this gentleman mowing the lawnmower. You never want to mow around a bee hive, they don’t like lawnmowers,” said Brandon Ferhenkamp with .
He has a website that specializes in bee care and treatment.
The beekeper said the bees looked like "your average honeybee," though the beekeper said they were probably agitated.
In addition to private handlers called to the scene, four- to five firefighters donned bee suits to try and assess the situation.
Meanwhile, bee drones swarmed as far as a block away from where the incident happened. The Austin Police Department helped with traffic, blocking off neighborhoods from 12th to 14th streets on Waller Street, including a block east and west. The situation had been cleared Wednesday afternoon.
Swarming is a natural means of reproduction of bee colonies. It's mainly a spring phenomenon, but can also happen during the summer.

Click here for the rest of the article

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

East Austin, TX: Bees attack man, emergency crews

A swarm of hundreds of bees near Waller and 13th streets in East Austin attacked a man and several emergency officials as they responded to the scene this morning, officials said.
Officials said the man, between 60 and 80 years old, was doing yard work about 11:30 a.m. when he was repeatedly stung. He reportedly received up to 500 stings and was taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge in critical condition.
“He received a significant amount of stings,” said Pete Didonato, spokesman for Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services.
Firefighters and a medic who responded also were stung, but their injuries are not serious, officials said.
Emergency crews have called a bee keeper to the scene. Streets near the area have been closed.

See the rest of the story here


Pima Co. Arizona: Bees attack 3 people hiking near Mount Lemmon

Posted: Aug 11, 2010 1:16 AM EDT Updated: Aug 11, 2010 1:25 AM EDT
Update: Rescuers were able to get the third hiker down after the bee attack. There is still no word on the conditions of the three people.
By Christina Stymfal
TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) - Rescuers responded to a bee attack on the road up to Mount Lemmon.
A group of three people were hiking near milepost 0.5, and found a swarm of bees.
Pima County Sheriff's Deputies say the woman and child were able to get away, but the man was not. It's because of this that the call to the Southern Arizona Rescue Association was made.
Rescuers are still working to bring the man to safety. Stay tuned to KOLD News 13 and for updates on this story. 


Monday, August 9, 2010

2 Menifee CA horses killed by bee attack remembered

Two male Tennessee Walkers were recently killed in an attack by killer bees in Riverside County, and two caretakers say it was one of the hardest things with which they've had to deal.

"And it was just covered," said Cherie Linnemeyer of one of the horses.  She lives on the Menifee ranch where the attack by an Africanized strain of honey bees occurred June 21.

"Its mane had bees all stuck in its hair," she said.  "It was going into shock and you could tell it was in a lot of pain."

One of the horses died right away, the other a few hours later.

"If you rubbed your hand against his skin, it was just bumps on top of bumps, and you could feel the stingers were still there," Linnemeyer said.

Both horses' ears, mouths, eyes, and bodies were completely swollen from the attack, according to Linnemeyer.

"It was absolutely heartbreaking," she said. "It was awful."

Following the attack, an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 bees were discovered in two nearby hives; one in a nearby tree, the other in a nearby barn.

Another witness to the attack, Sierra Linnemeyer, said that the horses were completely covered with the insects.

"You couldn't tell what color they were, they were so covered [in bees]," said Sierra Linnemeyer.

Sierra says she lay with one of the dying horses after the attack, despite the stings she received to her arms and legs.

"I went down there and put his head in my lap as he was passing away so he wouldn't be alone," she said.

Two male Tennessee Walkers were recently killed in an attack by killer bees in Riverside County, and two caretakers say it was one of the hardest things with which they've had to deal.

"And it was just covered," said Cherie Linnemeyer of one of the horses.  She lives on the Menifee ranch where the attack by an Africanized strain of honey bees occurred June 21.

"Its mane had bees all stuck in its hair," she said.  "It was going into shock and you could tell it was in a lot of pain."

One of the horses died right away, the other a few hours later.

"If you rubbed your hand against his skin, it was just bumps on top of bumps, and you could feel the stingers were still there," Linnemeyer said.

Both horses' ears, mouths, eyes, and bodies were completely swollen from the attack, according to Linnemeyer.

"It was absolutely heartbreaking," she said. "It was awful."

Following the attack, an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 bees were discovered in two nearby hives; one in a nearby tree, the other in a nearby barn.

Another witness to the attack, Sierra Linnemeyer, said that the horses were completely covered with the insects.

"You couldn't tell what color they were, they were so covered [in bees]," said Sierra Linnemeyer.

Sierra says she lay with one of the dying horses after the attack, despite the stings she received to her arms and legs.

"I went down there and put his head in my lap as he was passing away so he wouldn't be alone," she said.

Encenitas, CA man dies after more than 500 bee stings

ENCINITAS, Calif. (CBS 8) - He was allergic to bee stings and was stung more than 500 times. Landscaper Marco Lazaro never had a chance.
He was clearing brush at his home in Encinitas on Wednesday when a swarm of bees attacked him.
Dr. James LaBelle is an emergency room doctor at Scripps Encinitas. He says most people think they're allergic to bees because the sting site swells after an attack. But those who really are allergic suffer far more serious symptoms.
"It's not just confined to one area, so you can have throat swelling, a rash over the body, a drop in blood pressure and complications from that," Dr. LaBelle said.
Those complications kill about 50 people in the U.S. every year.
Lazaro was operating a backhoe on the property where he lives when he disturbed the hive Wednesday. He tried to run and hide in a portable lavatory, but it was too late. When paramedics arrived he was in full cardiac arrest.
"A great neighbor. You can't pick your neighbors. Your neighbors are your neighbors, but you couldn't get a better neighbor. You couldn't ask for a better neighbor," neighbor Dan Moriarty said.
Bee experts say the hive Lazaro hit had been there for at least three years and was packed with either African bees or a hybrid swarm.
"There were at least 40,000 bees in the colony, maybe 60,000," a bee expert said.
If you're allergic to bees and get stung, medical experts say get to a doctor immediately. If the swelling just stays around the sting sight, you can take care of the pain at home.
"Treat it with ice and elevation, and if there are systemic symptoms -- rash over the entire body, swelling, difficulty swallowing -- seek care," Dr. LaBelle said.

Bad luck continues for Pinellas tree trimmer attacked by bees last Saturday

Safety Harbor, Florida - "It's just another tree," said Ralph St. Peter, pointing at the dead oak he was about to cut down.

Just another tree... seems St. Peter is dead wrong about this dead oak. After all, on Saturday it was this tree that concealed a hefty hive.

"50,000 bees just came straight at me," recalled St. Peter. The killer bees hit places you don't even want to think about. "My whole face was covered, inside my ears, inside my mouth, in my nose-everywhere."

So on Monday, the only buzz this tree trimmer wanted to hear was that of a chain saw. And saw in hand, St. Peter climbed a ladder and got to work.

After 500 bee stings, you'd think St. Peter would take it easy for awhile. But this is the same guy who encounters all kinds of critters, "I've been bit hundreds of times by rattle snakes."

And who once kept working with a broken leg.

"A tree split on him and he broke his leg in three places and he finished the job before he went to the hospital," says co-worker Mike Foster, who calls St. Peter "a tank."

Even so, St. Peter admits Saturday was pretty much his worst day on the job ever. "It was horrible, horrible."

Ever since he was stung, St. Peter has been swarmed by the media and he's looking forward to getting to some jobs without a drama queen bee.

"I just want to get this over with, that's all. Move on to the next job," he says.

More Photos: Bad luck continues for tree trimmer

But even with the bees long gone, this tree continues to "bee-devil." When St. Peter made his last cut, the tree fell in the wrong direction, toppled onto a power line and wound up snapping a light pole.

Maybe this guy should have stayed home.

See the rest of the story here at 10 connects website

July 20, 2010: Honey Bee Research Experts participate in bee health symposium

Posted Jul 19, 2010 @ 12:02 PM
A condition known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) continues to affect beekeeping, a $15 billion-a-year industry in the United States. Experts will gather Thursday at the Alfred State College of Technology's Orvis Activities Center to talk about CCD, the latest findings and the ongoing impact on Western New York agriculture. Presentations will be made from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 to 4 p.m.
The symposium is free and open to the public. People must register in advance by e-mailing the New York Sustainable Agriculture Working Group at or by calling Judy Einach (716) 316-5839. Organizers say there is plenty of space available and no set limit on the number of reservations.
Two presenters are from the Pennsylvania State University Center for Pollinator Research. Maryann Frazier, Penn State extension entomologist, will talk about “A survey of recent research findings regarding honeybee health” and Dr. James Frazier, professor, Department of Entomology, will speak about “Synergistic and sublethal effects of pesticides on honeybees.” Other speakers are from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Services Honey Bee Pollination Lab in Tucson, Ariz. They are Dr. Gloria DeGrandi-Hoffman, research director, who will discuss the question, “Do pesticide contaminants alter the microflora in healthy honeybee colonies?”; Dr. Diana Sammataro will discuss “Beneficial lactic acid bacteria microflora of honeybees”; Dr. Kirk Anderson will address “Microbiota in the stored food sources of social insects” and Dr. Mark Carroll will talk about “Varroa mite attractants; potential solution for varroa mite/viral challenges to honeybees.”
About 90 percent of all crops in North America and in Western New York rely on honeybee pollination, according to the NYSAWG.
“It is not hard to imagine that as honeybees and other pollinator species continue to disappear, our food security is at risk,” NYSAWG members said. “We are just beginning to learn about the causes and the effects of CCD.”
The United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced a new national survey to identify honeybee pests and diseases. It hopes will help scientists to determine the prevalence of parasites and disease-causing microorganisms that may be contributing to the nationwide decline of honeybee colonies. CCD may be caused by a variety of factors. Among the factors now being profiled are the impacts on honeybees, and other pollinator species by human-manufactured toxins including pesticides, fungicides, and GMOs (genetically modified organisms).
The symposium is sponsored by Alfred State SUNY College of Technology, Western New York Honey Producers Association, NYSAWG in partnership with the USDA Risk Management Agency, the Learning Sustainability,,, Campaign and Bee Culture, The Magazine of American Beekeeping. For those wishing to bring a picnic lunch, a designated area will be announced at the meeting. Other lunch options will be available on campus and in town.

Now, that stings! Escapee bees swarm a.m. commute

(CNN) -- Imagine driving down the highway amid the typical stream of cars and trucks to suddenly discover millions of bees swarming toward the morning commute.
A truck flipped on its side Sunday on a highway in Sacramento, California, and let loose its cargo of honey bees.
"There was somewhere between six [million] and 16 million of them running around out there," Officer Steve Merchant of the California Highway Patrol told CNN.
The bees stung cops and firefighters who tried to corral them. They buzzed toward nearby businesses and forced them to shut their doors. They prompted authorities to warn drivers to roll up their windows and turn off their air conditioning -- lest a vent suck in a bee or two.
"People were being stung left and right," Merchant said. "It was an ugly, ugly scene." Video Watch bees swarm the highway »
The bees escaped from their crates when a big rig carrying more than 400 colonies, or hives, flipped on its side on Highway 99 shortly before 10 a.m.
For the next seven hours, authorities brought in handlers who used smoke to calm the bees and coax them back into their colonies. The colonies were packed in crates that were unloaded from the trailer and reloaded on to other trucks.
Officials do not yet know what caused the truck to turn on its side, but said they think the driver may have been driving too fast.

see the rest of the story here

2 attacked by bees in Tempe park

  • Two people walking their dog Wednesday in Tempe were attacked by a swarm of bees.

    This was the second major bee attack in the Southeast Valley in a week, and experts warn that bee season has begun.

    At about 9 a.m Wednesday, Tempe firefighters responded to Hanger Park, near Warner and Rural roads, after receiving a 911 call, Fire Department spokesman Mike Reichling said.

    The couple was attacked by bees that had been inside a garbage can they opened at the park. A city employee working nearby called 911.

    The man was stung more than 100 times and transported to the hospital in serious condition. The woman was also stung, and went to the hospital with minor injuries.

    Last week in Gilbert two dogs were killed and several members of a family stung when a swarm of bees attacked.
  • more


Bees with african genetics ( the so called "Killer Bees" ) will nest in just about any location. Residents of states with known African bees should exercise caution when outdoors. Here in Florida, we at are removing African Bees from the central Florida region south. If you live in MIami, Ft. Lauderdale, Ft Pierce, Daytona, Orlando, Tampa, Ft. Myers and surrounding areas, you are living with "killer bees". If you hear buzzing, BEE AWARE and be prepared to RUN... Distance from the bee colony is your best means of evading serious injury or death. Those individuals who are allergic to hymnopteran (bee, wasp and ants) stings should carry an Epi-pen at all times while outdoors.. --Richard Martyniak, M.Sc., Entomologist., Feb. 28, 2008

Indian River County , Florida - Front-end loader operator escapes injury after bee incident

By Henry A. Stephens Wednesday, October 17, 2007

  • One front-end loader operator Tuesday had reason to be grateful for his cell phone, his air-conditioned cab and county firefighters after he stumbled into an underground bee hive.
    "There were about 2,000 to 3,000 bees," said Battalion Chief Dan Dietz with the county Fire Rescue Division. "They were everywhere, on all four glasses sides (of the cab) and on the roof. ...They were definitely in a mass and definitely aggravated."
    The man, whose name was not released because of medical confidentiality, only escaped injury because the cab was closed off from the outside and air-conditioned, Dietz said.
    And now authorities want to know whether the bees were of the aggressive Africanized variety, commonly known as "killer bees," or of the more familiar and less aggressive European honeybee stock.
    Firefighters submitted 15 "excellent specimens" to the county Agricultural Extension Office for testing to determine what type of bees they are, said Violet Krochmalny, a staff assistant with the agency.
    She said the two kinds of bees can only be told apart by experts. She said the agency is relaying them to the Florida Division of Plant Industry's bee laboratory in Gainesville and expects results in a couple of weeks.
    Dietz said the man was clearing a former grove on the southwest corner of Oslo Road at Interstate 95 about noon Tuesday when somehow he broke into an underground hive.
    He said the man used his cell phone to call 911 and continued communicating with firefighters as they worked out the rescue.
    Wearing protective "bee hoods," firefighters had the man drive the loader away from the hive and then covered it with the same kind of foam they use to attack spills of hazardous liquids, Assistant Chief Brian Nolan said.
    The foam brought flying bees down and trapped those on the cab where they were, he said, after which the man was able to leave the loader and was checked out in the fire engine.
    "And there wasn't a single sting," Nolan said.


This worker is very fortunate to have had an air conditioned cab on the front end loader and to have had the presence of mind to stay inside the cab. Heavy equipment is particularly prone to stimulating stinging insect defense response, because it's often loud, causing plenty of vibration and emits exhaust fumes. --Richard Martyniak, Oct. 17, 2007

Pompano Beach Kids Stung By Bees During Recess

Recess at one South Florida school was cancelled for much of Wednesday after a class playing outdoors was swarmed by bees.

This at happening at Norcrest Elementary School at 3951 Northeast 16th Avenue in Pompano Beach.

Broward Fire Rescue said said 12 kids were stung, and 4 were treated for stings. Two kids who received numberous stings were taken to a hospital as a precaution.

Firefighters were able to locate and then foam the hive, killing the bees.

CBS 4 Pompano Beach link



Flour Bluff family mourns victim of bee attack

An elderly Corpus Christi man was the victim of a deadly bee attack in Flour Bluff Monday night.
David Moxon, 74, was mowing some brush for the Audobon Society, when he was attacked and stung nearly 1000 times.
It happened in a back alley behind a row of houses on the 400 block of Clearview around 6 p.m. His widow said David died doing the job he loved.
"I just told her, I said 'I have bad news,'" Eva Moxan, the victim's widow, said of an emotional phone call she had to make to her step daughter shortly after learning her husband, David, had been killed.
"I didn't want to believe it," she said. "I still don't want to believe it."
Eva was at work, when a swarm of Africanized bees attacked her husband on Monday evening, while he was mowing this brush behind a row of houses.
David may never have seen the bees coming. According to authorities, the beehive was actually buried about 20 feet in the brush.
He was stung nearly 1000 times, and he died before he even made it to the hospital.
"He had bee stings on his head, his arms, his belly, everything...his legs. I mean, he was stung really bad," Eva said.



Texas African ("Killer Bees") Bees attack man on lawnmower

  • Associated Press September 24, 2007

Port Lavaca man 'pretty good' after bee attack

PORT LAVACA — A 68-year-old Port Lavaca man using a tractor to mow tall weeds near his mobile home has survived an attack by a swarm of bees.
"I couldn't see under the house and I didn't touch the house but the noise and vibrations set them off. They came out in a tight, very fast swarm. They were all over me," John Tackett said in a report for Tuesday's Victoria Advocate.
A medic responding to the family's call for help on Sunday removed 60 stingers from Tackett's head, ears, throat and neck. Nurses removed an additional 50 stingers.
After the bees began to attack him, Tackett used his cap to protect his eyes and ran toward his home. He was then struck by the realization that the bees would follow him into his home, where his wife waited.
"It was a mind-boggling thing. Especially when I got to the door and realized I couldn't go in. But my wife was standing at the door. She couldn't believe what she was seeing. She opened the door and dragged me in."
Bonnie Tackett used a movable showerhead and cold water to wash the bees off while they waited for help.
"I feel pretty good right now, but I think people ought to be warned to be real careful and if they see a bee, get away," John Tackett said on Monday. He said he plans to have someone eradicate the bees.
"These guys, they came out in a calculated storm. They got on me and they just stayed. They were organized. I've never seen bees organized before."


African Bees are very defensive of their colony. Loud noises, dark colors and movement will easily provoke a very intense response. People riding lawnmowers comprise a significant proportion of attacks. If you are in an area where African or Africanized bees are known to inhabit, please do a walk-around inspection prior to mowing. --Richard Martyniak

Austin, TX - Bee attack leads to seven-hour outage

  • About 130,000 rural customers south of Austin lost phone service for seven hours after bees attacked a construction worker. The worker jumped off his tractor on Tuesday to escape the swarm, hitting a lever that lowered an auger that sliced a fiber-optic line.
    That cut landline, cellular and 911 emergency response services for the residents of the rural area in Hays County. Some digital providers in the area still had service.
    It took county and telecommunication workers about three hours to determine the outage's cause. Service was restored to most of the county by last night.
    Police and emergency workers told residents to go to local fire stations to report emergencies or, if their cell phones worked, to call alternate numbers that routed calls for help through a backup system.


The worker probably did the right thing by jumping off the tractor to avoid the bees. When confronted by bees that are attacking, the best thing to do is to leave the area quickly. Heavy equipment is particularly prone to stimulating stinging insect defense response, because it's often loud, causing plenty of vibration and emits exhaust fumes. --Richard Martyniak, Sep. 30, 2007

Arizona African ("Killer Bees") Bees attack man while walking

NEW: Video coverage : Bees sting man, responding firefighters stung

Man survives 1600 Killer Bee stings

A man in Phoenix, Arizona says he has firefighters and doctors to thank for saving his life after being attacked by killer bees.
The attack happened last week, but Jim Anderson is just now able to talk about it.
Anderson says he was walking back to his apartment from the laundry area when he walked under a tree. It was at that moment a huge swarm of bees attacked him. Anderson suffers from fibromyalgia and was unable to run away.
Firefighters arrived and sprayed foam on the man. One firefighter even threw his jacket on Anderson to shield him from the bees.
A week later, Anderson is out of the hospital and back at home. He is covered with red marks and welts where the bees stung him. At first it was thought Anderson was stung about 100-times, but after doctors were able to check him out thoroughly, they upped that number to 16-hundred.
Anderson says he has a lot of "thank yous" to give out, to firefighters and other medical personnel who saved him.


This story illustrates just how dangerous african bees can be to those members of the general population that can't or are unable to run away. Infants, Children, Elderly and handicapped people (or those that care for them need to pay special attention to their surroundings. If you do hear a buzzing sound, be prepared to RUN! and seek shelter.. a car, a house, or building. . --Richard Martyniak

Stinging bees chase man; falls, breaks leg

PRATER, Va. — A man was taken to a Bristol, Tenn., hospital Tuesday after he broke a leg while trying to escape stinging bees.

The Mercy Ambulance Service was dispatched 9 a.m. to a dirt road near Prater after a worker for a local mining or oil company, described as a man in his 30s, broke his left leg while running from bees, said EMT Tina Smitherman.

“He apparently got into some bees and was running to get away, but he tripped and fell,” she said. “He was running on level ground. The human body is a crazy thing. You can fall off a house and not get hurt, but fall down and break your leg. It often depends on how you land.”

The man was taken to Prater Elementary School where he was airlifted to Bristol Regional Medical Center in Tennessee. He had several stings, but his leg injury was the main reason for the airlift, Smitherman said.

Smitherman did not know whether the man had been chased by bees or another type of stinging insect, but Mike Harris of the Virginia Tech Extension Service in neighboring Tazewell County said yellow jackets are a likely culprit. Unlike wasps or bees, yellow jackets nest underground.

“They’re the land mine of stinging insects,” Harris said. “Yellow jackets are some of the most aggressive bees. They’re extremely territorial and extremely defensive. Depending on your immune system, they can be deadly.”

Since yellow jackets nest underground, a person often doesn’t know they are present until somebody has run a lawnmower over the nest or unwittingly disturbed them in some other way, Harris said.

When attacked by yellow jackets and other stinging insects, the only thing to do is separate yourself from them, Harris said. Some might follow a person into a car or house, but at least there are fewer bees to deal with. Yellow jacket nests can be killed off by spraying them with insecticide after dark; during the cooler evening hours, the bees are dormant and less likely to attack.

Honey bees are aggressive, too; especially if they think the hive’s queen is in danger, Harris said. The fact they nest above ground makes them easier to spot and avoid.

Aggressive stingers that occasionally makes headlines are the African or “killer” bees now seen in Texas. Harris said these African bees have been seen in Covington, Va., after they “hitched a ride” aboard railroad cars, but none have managed to settle in the state to the best of his knowledge. They have trouble tolerating cold weather.

“These cold winters are the best insecticide we can get,” he said.

Greg Jordan writes for the Bluefield (W.Va.) Daily Telegraph.