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Two people stung by bees back at home

By Sara Sneath , SARA PRIEST
Aug. 6, 2014 at 5:42 p.m.
Updated Aug. 6, 2014 at 10:46 p.m.


Past bee attacks

Bees have attacked people and animals in Victoria in the past. Below are a few of the incidents:

• September 2009: Bees swarmed and killed an 81-year-old man while he was mowing the lawn of an abandoned house.

• June 2008: A 60-year-old man wrecked his truck at Farm-to-Market Road 444 and Schiller Road after being attacked by bees.

September 2007: Herbert J. Hanselman, 81, of Victoria, suffered a heart attack after being attacked and stung by more than 100 bees on Burroughsville Road.

May 2007: Bees attacked two dogs and 16 kittens in a Victoria neighborhood. The dogs and nine kittens died.

September 2006: A 90-year-old man died after being attacked by bees while mowing his lawn on his property on Buentello Road.

July 2006: A Port Lavaca city worker died after he was stung when he stopped to check on a construction project and saw a construction worker being attacked by bees. The construction worker's wife who stopped by the site was also stung. The couple recovered.

May 2002: A 36-year-old El Campo woman died after she was stung by more than 250 hybrid Africanized and European honeybees.

source: Advocate archives

Two people who were stung at a Victoria scrap metal facility were released from the hospital Tuesday.

The bee swarm at Texas Port Recycling on Tuesday morning began when a recreational vehicle that was brought in during the weekend was crushed, said Sam Arevalo, the facility manager.

Two customers who were close to the main scrap pile, where the RV was being crushed, were stung multiple times and taken to area hospitals.

"They're both back home now, and they're fine. I followed up with them this morning," Arevalo said.

Arevalo did not know the full names of the people stung, but said it was a man with the first name LeRoy and his nephew, Michael.

"We're really concerned for our customers and employees, and we urge that customers always check for wildlife, and especially bees, before scraping their material," Arevalo said.

Jeff Lowe, the owner of Pest Pros, was called to the scrap metal facility, 3105 Odem St., on Tuesday to control the bees.

"Normally, when you do a bee job, they're confined to one little area. That trailer had probably been there for years, and when they brought that trailer in there and used that crane to break it up, they just tore that beehive apart is what they did. They sent bees everywhere," Lowe said. "You know it's just like somebody just tearing your house apart. There were thousands of bees there taking off."

Lowe donned his bee suit and sprayed down the hive with a pesticide from a 400 psi sprayer on the back of his truck. It took him between 35 and 40 minutes to subdue the bees.

"I hate killing them because they're very beneficial. We need bees, you know? But they're just not friendly bees anymore. It used to be someone would get bees in a tree, and they wouldn't bother them. You could mow around them. You can't do that anymore," Lowe said.

European bees are calm and rarely ever sting, Lowe said. For the first nine years Lowe ran his pest control business, he never wore a bee suit, but around 1994, that changed.

Africanized bees are now a regular part of Lowe's business.

"I've been chased by (Africanized bees) before in a bee suit. I've actually had to run on one job three different times (because) the bees were so bad," he said.

When Africanized bees begin to attack, it's best to run away from the nest and seek cover.

"The more you hang around, the more you'll get stung," Lowe said.

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