Bee swarm attacks group in southeast Victoria

Johnathan Silver By Johnathan Silver

Aug. 5, 2014 at 6:12 p.m.
Updated Aug. 5, 2014 at 11:16 p.m.

A swarm of bees attacked a group of people at a business in Victoria, sending two to area hospitals Tuesday.

The Victoria Fire Department responded to a call at 10:38 a.m. to Texas Port Recycling, 3105 Odem St., Battalion Chief Shannon Martin said.

The department took the two people who had multiple bee stings from that location, Martin said.

The identities of the two people were not known Tuesday.

Responders also assisted some people near the area where bees were located, and more than two people were stung, including some firefighters, Martin said.

Victoria resident Preston Tucker, who lives near the site of the attack, said he's encountered swarms of bees throughout the years but mostly evades them or has no issue with them.

This time is no different, he said, adding he isn't concerned about bees attacking him or loved ones.

"I'm a firm believer - just be careful," he said.

Officials did not know immediately what type of bees attacked, but past incidents in the Crossroads have involved Africanized bees.

"Looking at them, you cannot tell the difference with the plain eye," said Jack Ross, a beekeeper from Hallettsville.

Africanized bees tend to be more aggressive or protective than honeybees or European bees, he said.

"There's a communication between the bees, and they know almost instantly," Ross said.

A person could stand 5 to 6 feet from normal hives with European honeybees and have no problem, he said.

"A particularly nasty, or hot, hive will come out and greet you when you get 20 feet from their hive. Maybe 30," Ross said. "They don't just come out and buzz around you."

People likely won't be stung by just one Africanized bee, he said.

"In some cases, you can run into hundreds," Ross said.

People should fall to the ground and cover themselves the best they can, run or spray them with water to delay them, Ross suggested.

But once you stop spraying, they'll continue with their attack, he said. Bees return to their hives by nighttime, so a person could have to stay covered or hidden for a few hours, he added.

People should be alert when outside but know that not all bees are dangerous, Ross said.



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