A Texas man who disturbed a hive of bees over the weekend was killed on the scene by the angry, stinging swarm. A woman who tried to help him remains in the hospital in serious condition.
(Photo: San Diego County via Wikimedia)
Larry Goodwin of Moody who had just turned 62 Friday was driving his tractor Saturday when he ran over the wood of an old chicken coop, according to KCEN-TV. In doing so, he disturbed a hive of "Africanized" bees, which was later estimated to contain 22 honeycombs and around 40,000 bees.
With the swarm chasing him, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported that he ran to the nearest neighbor's house and tried to hose himself off. The neighbors -- a woman and her daughter -- who came outside thinking they could help were stung 100 times between the two of them.
KCEN-TV reported Goodwin's family saying there wasn't any visible part of his body that didn't have a sting.
This particular breed of bee refers to a hybrid resulted from an African honey bee, coming to the U.S. by transport from Africa to South America, that has bred with the European honey bees since the 1990s, creating a particularly aggressive and protective variety, according to the National Atlas of the United States. As of 2009, Africanized honey bees have spread through much of the southwest.
“You can’t believe how bad they are. They make me want to get out of this business,” Allen Miller, owner of the local Bees Be Gone, told the Waco Tribune-Herald. “They can get up under your clothes where no other insect can go. In a hive of ordinary European bees, about 10 percent will attack if the hive is threatened, but with African bees, all of them attack you.”
Texas AgriLife Extension Service stated that Africanized bees are 10 times more likely to sting, are known to follow victims up to a quarter mile and will continue pursuit for up to 24 hours. Eight people have been killed by this type of hybrid bee since 1990.
"If anybody has any brush or anything on their lands, please clear it, because they don't want to go through this. Nobody needs to go through this," KCEN-TV reported Goodwin's daughters, Tanya Goodwin and Kelley Flores, saying.
Watch this KWTX report on the fatal incident:
(H/T: Daily Mail)