Man Dies After Being 'Covered in Bees' While Removing Hive From Back Yard

ABC News By Julia Jacoba April 9, 2019

The man was covered in bees by the time deputies arrived.

Getty images

Getty images

An Arizona man has died after he attempted to remove a beehive from his backyard on his own, authorities said.

The Yuma County Sheriff's Office was called to the man's home on Sunday evening after he had been stung multiple times, according to a press release. The man, identified as 51-year-old Epigmenio Gonzalez, was "covered with bees" in his front yard when deputies arrived, authorities said.

MORE: What to do in a bee attack: 5 things you need to know (July 20, 2018).

First responders then sprayed Gonzalez with water to allow medics to take him to the hospital. He later died at the Yuma Regional Medical Center, according to the sheriff's office. It is unclear how many times he was stung.

Deputies later learned that Gonzalez had tried to remove the hive from a couch behind his home before the agitated bees attacked.

A female at the home also was stung multiple times and was hospitalized, authorities said. Several deputies and other first responders were stung as well but did not require medical attention.

Additional details were not immediately available.

Yuma County Sheriff’s Office

Yuma County Sheriff’s Office

Two Women Stung By Swarm of Bees While Hiking in Mission Trails

FOX 5 News    By Shelly Wilford    May 11, 2017

Two women hiking Mission Trail were stung by a swarm of bees on May 11, 2017.SAN DIEGO – Two women hiking in Mission Trails Regional Park were repeatedly stung by a swarm of bees Thursday morning.

The women were hiking in the western area of the park near Tierrasanta with a dog when they were stung.

Paramedics were at the scene assisting the women. It’s not known if the dog was also stung.

Check back for more information on this developing story.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture lists the following precautions to protect yourself from bees:

Stay away from honey bee colonies.

Africanized honey bees sting to defend themselves or their nest.

If you can avoid disturbing them in any way, they usually will not sting.

To avoid approaching a nest by accident, listen for the steady buzz produced by a colony and look for flying insects

Look for bees to nest in cavities such as holes in the ground, crevices in rocks, hollow trees, discarded tires, saguaro cactus cavities, or water meter boxes.

Homeowners commonly encounter colonies when doing yard work.

Do not climb a tree, kick over a log or roll over a rock without checking first for bees.

If you do see a colony, do not stand in front of the entrance or in the flightpath.

Treat honey bee colonies as you would any other venomous creature, such as a snake or a scorpion.

Be alert and stay away!

Wear appropriate clothing.

When hiking or hunting in the wilderness, wear light-colored clothing.

The animals most likely to attack a bee colony are skunks and bears, so honeybees respond most violently to anything that is dark-colored or fuzzy.

Wear white socks, because honey bees are known to sting the ankles of persons wearing dark socks.

Always wear full-length pants when hiking and long-sleeved shirts if possible.

Avoid wearing shiny jewelry and leather, which attract bees.

Avoid wearing perfumes or scents.

Bees are sensitive to odors such as perfumes, soaps, after-shave lotions, and hair spray. These odors may either attract or provoke bees. Even sunscreens may have odors that increase your chances of an attack.

Avoid excessive motion when near a colony.

Bees are able to detect movement, and are much more likely to respond to an object in motion than one that is stationary.

Avoid flailing your arms or swatting at bees.

Do not panic if you spot a bees’ nest, just move away slowly and deliberately.

Avoid operating any machinery (mowers, line-trimmers or chain saws) near nests.

If you are attacked by several bees, then the best strategy is to run to shelter as quickly as possible.

(Note: For more information on Africanized Honey Bees see our LACBA Africanized Honey Bees Page: /africanized-bees/)

TIPS: What To Do If Attacked By Africanized Honey Bees

We posted these tips a few weeks ago, but in light of the recent deadly bee attacks in Arizona, here's a repost: 
The LACBA does not endorse the keeping of Africanized Honey Bees. It may be inexpensive to catch a feral hive and keep it. If you do so, and do not adhere to best management practices, you could be endangering others and/or their animals. Come to our LACBA meeting tonight and learn more about keeping bees responsibly. /meetings/ Or join our LACBA Beekeeping Class 101…/ Learn more about AHB here:

KRON4  By Mario Sevilla   May 15, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — On Friday night, a swarm of aggressive bees attacked several East Bay residents. Two dogs were killed in the attack and several people suffered multiple stings.

The incident happened in Concord, but it’s been known for sometime that an African breed of honeybees, also known as killer bees, had made its way into the Bay Area.

UC San Diego researchers have been tracking the bees’ movement throughout California. Until now, the bees had only been detected in Mariposa County, just east of Merced.

Now, apparently because of warmer temperatures, they have been found in the East Bay, first spotted in a Lafayette subdivision reported in September 2015.

Below is a list from the United States Department of Agriculture that explains what you can do if you ever encounter an attack by bees.

What to do if Attacked by Africanized honey bees

Remember these important steps:

1. RUN away quickly. Do not stop to help others. However, small children and the disabled may need some assistance.

2. As you are running, pull your shirt up over your head to protect your face, but make sure it does not slow your progress. This will help keep the bees from targeting the sensitive areas around your head and eyes.

3. Continue to RUN. Do not stop running until you reach shelter, such as a vehicle or building. A few bees may follow you indoors. However, if you run to a well-lit area, the bees will tend to become confused and fly to windows.Do not jump into water! The bees will wait for you to come up for air. If you are trapped for some reason, cover up with blankets, sleeping bags, clothes, or whatever else is immediately available.

4. Do not swat at the bees or flail your arms. Bees are attracted to movement and crushed bees emit a smell that will attract more bees.

5. Once you have reached shelter or have outrun the bees, remove all stingers. When a honey bees stings, it leaves its stinger in the skin. This kills the honey bee so it can’t sting again, but it also means that venom continues to enter into the wound for a short time.

6. Do not pull stingers out with tweezers or your fingers. This will only squeeze more venom into the wound. Instead, scrape the stinger out sideways using your fingernail, the edge of a credit card, a dull knife blade or other straight-edged object.

7. If you see someone being attacked by bees, encourage them to run away or seek shelter. Do not attempt to rescue them yourself. Call 911 to report a serious stinging attack. The emergency response personnel in your area have probably been trained to handle bee attacks.

8. If you have been stung more than 15 times, or are feeling ill, or if you have any reason to believe you may be allergic to bee stings, seek medical attention immediately. The average person can safely tolerate 10 stings per pound of body weight. This means that although 500 stings can kill a child, the average adult could withstand more than 1100 stings.