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A Yuma Resident Sustained Fatal Honey Bee Stings While Attempting To Remove A Nest From His Couch

Most fatal bee attacks in Arizona are perpetrated by Africanized honey bees, which are non-native pests that pose a public health threat within Arizona and surrounding states. Africanized honey bees, more commonly known as killer bees, emerge every spring in Arizona where they inflict deadly attacks on residents at least once per year. While it is understandable to assume that killer bees are responsible for most, if not all, fatal bee attacks in Arizona, it should be noted that honey bees also attack and kill residents in the state. For example, last week an Arizona man sustained hundreds of honey bee stings while he was attempting to remove an active honey bee hive from his outdoor couch. Sadly, the victim was unable to survive the numerous honey bee stings that he sustained during the attack.

Around 6:30 PM on April seventh, a 51 year old Yuma man, Epigmenio Gonzalez, was brought by paramedics into a hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival in response to a swarm of bees that attacked and stung the man hundreds of times on his property. Once the local police arrived in response to an emergency call made from the man’s home, they found Gonzalez lying motionless on his front lawn. The paramedics, police and other authorities quickly noticed that Gonzalez’ whole body had been covered with the offending bees. Apparently, as Gonzalez had been removing the hive from his couch, the bees became agitated before aggressively attacking him. In addition to Gonzalez, a female at the scene also sustained numerous stings during her effort to come to the man’s rescue. She was transported to the Yuma hospital where she eventually made a full recovery. Several sheriff deputies and officials with Rural Metro also sustained several bee stings during the ordeal, but none of them sought medical attention. Several friends, family members, and fellow residents took to Facebook to grieve over the man’s death, but several other commenters took the opportunity to stress the importance of seeking a trained pest control professional to remove the bees safely.

Were you aware that honey bees can be deadly to non-allergic individuals?

 

 

 

 

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