Africanized Bees Attack San Antonio PMP

By |  May 26, 2006

SAN ANTONIO — A technician with Century Pest Control in San Antonio was swarmed by bees as he tried to chip away at some bees nests at an apartment complex, according to a report from the San Antonio Express.

As the bees attacked, the man walked a block away and firefighters sprayed him with carbon dioxide. Though he was wearing a safety suit, the bees managed to sting him about 10 times.

“They were very, very aggressive,” Fire Department District Chief Ron Rodriguez told the newspaper. “They stung him through his suit and some even got into it.”

The man and a tenant of the apartment complex were treated at the scene, he said. Pest control workers suspected the insects to be Africanized honeybees, Rodriguez said, because of their size and behavior. The bees are wilder than the domestic honeybee, not used to people and very defensive of their hives.

Fire and police officials blocked off the complex, told tenants to stay inside and encouraged patrons of nearby restaurants to take a longer lunch, Rodriguez said.

By early Friday evening, pest control employees were busy spraying a powder onto the 5-foot-long hive built around a rain gutter on the back wall of the complex. The powder would kill the bees, they said.

The Africanized bee or a crossbred variety has killed 11 people in Texas since being discovered in the U.S. in 1990. More than 60 percent of Texas counties count the bees as residents, and experts say their bad reputation is highly exaggerated.

This article is tagged with and posted in Bees, Stinging Insects

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