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Police Officers, Firefighters Ambushed By Thousands Of Bees


Bees | Image: Men’s Journal

A group of police officers and firefighters in California were attacked by a swarm of nearly 40,000 bees while they were responding to a report of a single bee sting.

Five people, including two firefighters and a police officer, were sent to a hospital on Thursday after the swarm of bees attacked in Pasadena, California, TIME reported.


Pasadena Fire Department Public Information Officer Lisa Derderian told TIME that they had first arrived on the scene to treat a civilian and were unaware of the size of the swarm. The first firefighter on the scene received up to 15 to 20 bee stings.

“I’ve been with the fire department 18 years now and responded to several bee incidents but never to this magnitude.”

Officials were called to remove a hive after someone was stung by a bee at a local Hampton Inn.

But while the hive was being investigated, the bees attacked, stinging one firefighter 17 times. In total, seven people were stung by the bees.

Firefighters and a professional beekeeper then tried spraying the bees with Co2 and foam extinguishers. Some were killed with the spray, while others fled the area.

The beekeeper, David Williams, told CBS Los Angeles that the firefighters weren’t wearing protective hoods because they did not expect such an attack.

He said based on the hive’s population, the colony was likely made up of Africanized bees, an aggressive hybrid of African subspecies and a honeybee.

“Normally bees will defend their colony within about a 50-foot radius,” he said of the attack. “When it gets outside that, it’s a hyper-defensive reaction.”

He said an exterminator removed the hive from the area, and there are likely another 40,000 or 50,000 bees inside.

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