Three people rushed to hospital after swarm of ‘killer’ bees attacks

A woman and two young children were rushed to hospital after they were attacked by a large swarm of bees in Phoenix, Arizona, on Monday (November 2).

Firefighters were called to a home near the corner of the city’s 23rd Avenue and Rose Garden Lane at around 11.15am. After seeing a huge swarm of bees emerging from on of the property’s outbuildings they donned protective gear and sprayed foam on the bees to immobilise them.

Once that was done, the firefighters managed to locate the three injured people.

The stricken trio was moved to a safer area near Interstate 17 and Loop 101 and given first aid.

The family was later taken to a nearby hospital where they are reported to be in a stable condition.

So-called “killer” bees – a hybrid of African and Brazilian strains – are endemic in Arizona and New Mexico, having migrated from further south in the early 1990s.

While their sting is in itself no more toxic than that of a standard honey bee, the Africanised honey bees are far more aggressive. “Killer” bees have been known to chase people for over a quarter of a mile in order to sting a victim.

The average person can survive around 20-22 stings per kilogram of body weight – meaning an average adult can survive up to 1,000 stings. A child would become severely ill after just a few hundred stings.

Killer bees are known to form large swarms, and will attack if disturbed. They will occupy storage sheds, piles of wood, or mailboxes and the like.

They’re easily provoked by noise from, for example lawn mowers and hedge trimmers, and have even been driven into a stinging fury by certain floral perfumes.

While a reasonably fit human can outrun a swarm of bees, popular tricks just as jumping into a pool are not effective as the bees will just wait until their target surfaces – stings on the head or face are far more dangerous than elsewhere on the body too.

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