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!)

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