Three people went to the hospital Wednesday morning after they were attacked by a swarm of bees in South Victoria, police said.
All three were treated for injuries that were not life threatening, police said Wednesday afternoon.
A man was doing lawn work in a yard in the 900 block of South William Street when he was first attacked, said Senior Officer David Brogger, of the Victoria Police Department. Police officers and the Victoria Fire Department responded to a 911 call at the home about 9 a.m.
The man’s face was completely covered in bees, said Anthony Otto, who lives on the block and who called 911 after seeing the man swarmed with bees.
“He was just solid with bees, all over his head, his neck, his face,” Otto said. Otto and another man were driving to work Wednesday when they passed by the house and saw the man desperately trying to shake off the bees. The man fell several times while he was covered in bees, Otto said.
“To me he looked like that movie ‘Candyman,’” Otto said, referencing the 1992 horror film in which actor Tony Todd was covered in bees. “He was on his knees screaming and yelling. You couldn’t even see his skin, it was just solid bees.”
While officers were trying to stop the bees from stinging the man, two residents of the house pulled up in their truck and parked next to the hive, Otto said. The two were also immediately stung by bees when they got out of their car.
Otto said the man who was first stung by bees lived in the neighborhood and frequently helped neighbors with chores and yard work.
Brogger was one of the officers who responded to the scene, and said he and another officer eventually grabbed a neighbor’s garden hose to douse the man with water and stop the swarm from stinging him. Both Brogger and the other officer also were stung by bees while trying to help the man, although they did not need medical treatment, he said.
All three people appeared to be stung “multiple, multiple times,” Brogger said.
If you’re being swarmed by bees, you should protect your face, including your eyes, ears, face and eyes, as best you can and try immediately to get to an enclosed space, like inside a car or a house, said Michael Olson, a bee remover and relocator.
“They’re light sensitive, so if you go into a dark car they’re going to go to the light” at the car’s windows, Olson said. “If you go into a dark house they’re going to go to the windows.”
You should avoid swatting the bees, Olson said.
People with known bee allergies should carry an EpiPen or some other form of epinephrine auto-injector, and even people without allergies could benefit from Benadryl if they are stung, Olson said.
But Olson, the owner of Live Honeybee Removal, urged people to request a removal and relocation of a hive as soon as they see one. The temperament of bees changes throughout the year, and during the summer months when bees are foraging and the queen bee is laying eggs, bees are both more protective of their hive and growing in size, he said.
“My suggestion is, if you know you have bees, you really need to think about doing something right away and actually take action,” Olson said.