A man in Texas recently lost his life when what was later estimated to be about 40,000 killer bees attacked in a swarm to protect their hives.
KCENTV reports that Larry Goodwin, who had just celebrated his 62nd birthday last week, was clearing a pile of brush on his neighbor’s property when he upset a total of 22 collective hives that had been built by rare Africanized bees in the ruins of what used to be a chicken coop. When Larry ran into the rubble, the killer bees swarmed to protect their home, killing Larry, and leaving no skin on his body untouched by a stinger.
“When we got to him, he was purple with thousands and thousands of bee stings on his face and arms,” says Tanya Goodwin, Larry’s daughter.
According to the University of California at Riverside, Africanized bees are a subspecies of bees and a cross between the common European bee and the African bee, which is known for its increased defensive behavior. They have even been given the nickname “killer bees” in the media.
A woman and her daughter in the house on the property on which Larry was working rushed out to help the man, but as responders discovered later, he was already gone. The woman, who is allergic to bee stings, was also rushed to the hospital for her mass stings; her daughter did not need medical treatment.
The bees have since been safely removed by Allen Miller’s Bees be Gone. Allen told KCENTV that Africanized bees are extremely rare, however he has seen at least five cases in the past month. For perspective, that is more that he usually sees in an entire year.
Another beekeeper offered a few words of advice: “Do not swat at the bees, the more you swat, the more they attack. Just put your head down and to get into a dark or shaded area and try to get away from them.”