Glendale, Ariz.–– On Saturday, May 21, at approximately 8 a.m., firefighters were called to a house near 6100 West Ocotillo Ave after someone noticed bees were swarming their neighbors.
When firefighters arrived, they found a 56-year-old male actively being attacked by a swarm of bees. Firefighters, donned in turnout gear and bee hoods, were able to rescue the man and get him inside the house. Firefighters estimated the man was stung over 200 times. He was taken to the hospital in stable but serious condition.
Fire officials believe the man’s weed-eater attracted and agitated the swarm.
Firefighters were unable to locate a hive, and the homeowner was advised to call a bee keeper.
Neighbors were told to be cautious of bee activity in the area.
As temperatures rise, so does bee activity, and that is why the Glendale Fire Department wants for you to follow these bee safety tips:
• Keep pets and children indoors when using weed eaters, hedge clippers, lawn mowers, chain saws, etc. Bee attacks frequently happen when a person is mowing the lawn or pruning shrubs and inadvertently strikes a nest.
• If you encounter a swarm, run as quickly as you can in a straight line away from the bees. Get indoors as soon as possible. If you aren’t near a building, get inside the nearest car or shed. Close the doors and windows to keep the bees from following you.
• Because bees target the head and eyes, cover your head as much as you can without slowing your escape.
• Avoid excessive motion when near a colony. Bees are much more likely to respond to an object on the move.
• Don’t jump into a pool or other body of water to avoid the bees. They can and will wait for you to surface, and will sting you as soon as you do. You can’t hold your breath long enough to wait them out, trust me.
• If someone else is being stung by bees and cannot run away, cover them with anything you can find. Do what you can to quickly cover any exposed skin or susceptible areas of their body, and then run for help as fast as you can.
• Once you are in a safe place, use a blunt object to scrape any stingers out of your skin.
• If you were stung just once or a few times, treat the stings as you would regular bee stings and carefully monitor yourself for any unusual reactions. Wash the affected sites with soap and water to avoid infections. Use ice packs to reduce swelling and pain. Of course, if you are allergic to bee venom, seek medical attention immediately.
• If you suffered multiple stings, seek medical attention immediately.