A horrifying attack by a swarm of bees in an Arizona neighborhood killed a man and injured a number of other people.
Authorities said the swarming bees came from a 100-pound open beehive that was in a tree inside a home’s backyard.
According to fire officials, at least six area residents were stung “multiple times,“ in the attack Thursday in the Tucson suburb of Marana.
Three victims believed to have been stung “hundreds of times,” were transported for medical evaluation. One of them, a man who was not identified by authorities, later died.
Three firefighters responding to the emergency were also stung multiple times, including one being stung approximately 60 times. Northwest Fire says he has since been released from the hospital.
According to a statement from the Marana Police Department:
“Bee handlers have killed most of the bees and have removed the hive, although the area is much safer, there are still some lingering bees. Please continue to use caution while in the area.”
Carl Hayden Bee Research Center in Tucson said, “Most Arizona swarms involve Africanized honey bees, a cross between African and European bees, but they are not “killer bees.”
“Africanized honey bees do not fly out in angry swarms to randomly attack unlucky victims,” according to the center.
Swarms of bees, which are leaving their parent colony to start a new hive, are “generally docile regardless of type” because they have nothing to protect, the center noted. But the bees can become “highly defensive” when protecting their hives.
A good “safety precaution” is to stay the “width of a four-lane highway” from any African honey bee hive, the center advises.
Just days before the Arizona attack, two dogs were killed in a backyard in Los Angeles by an angry swarm of “thousands” of bees, said the homeowner, who was stung multiple times as he tried to save the animals.
The Marana Police Department says fire and police crews are working to clear the swarm in Marana near Thomas Aron Drive and Moore Road.
Police said the intersection would be closed for several hours while crews respond and clear the area of bees.
(1/4) Around 12:00 p.m., Northwest Fire crews were dispatched to the area of Moore Road and Thomas Arron Drive in reference to a bee swarm. At least six individuals were stung multiple times during the incident.
— Northwest Fire (@NorthwestFire) July 29, 2021