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Bees attack 2 city workers; 1 man hospitalized

July 16, 2010 at 2:16 a.m.
Updated July 17, 2010 at 2:17 a.m.

A city yard waste employee was checked and transported by DeTar Hospital Navarro after being stung by bees while picking up yard waste. He was stung in his neck and face Friday afternoon. Another employee, Joe Rodriguez, left, was also stung, but did not need to be hospitalized.

Bees swarmed two city workers who were picking up yard waste Friday afternoon in the center of Victoria.

One man, whose name was not released at his request, was stung at least 15 to 20 times on exposed body parts and was transported to DeTar Hospital Navarro, said O.C. Garza, director of communications for the city of Victoria.

Joe Rodriguez, who was driving the waste truck down San Antonio Street near Ramsey's Restaurant, was also stung, but was checked and released at the scene.

"I saw him swinging his hands around and I realized what happened," he said.

Rodriguez stopped the truck and helped his co-worker get away from the swarm.

"I was freaking out," he said.

The Victoria Fire Department put on protective suits and sprayed a tree and the general area where the attack occurred with soapy water, Garza said.

The man was still at the hospital under observation as of 5 p.m. Friday. He was given shots for any possible allergic reactions and cold wraps to reduce face swelling, Garza said.

The noise of the truck or disturbance of the brush could have caused the bees attacked said Kevin Runge, president and owner of Pest Solutions.

"Bees are alarmed by loud noise," he said. "They tend to attack that noise."

It's often difficult to know if bees are Africanized or not.

However, because they attacked, there is a high chance they may have been, he said.

This is the second reported bee attack this month.

Kenneth Hermes and his father, William "Buddy" Hermes, of Ezzell, were stung together a total of 1,600 times while clearing a roadway on their ranch in Lavaca County.

The two are recovering.

Another attack in September killed an 81-year-old Tivoli man who was mowing the lawn of an abandoned house.

"It happens when somebody is minding their own business," Runge said.



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