PHOENIX – A group of people were seriously injured when they were attacked by a swarm of bees in north Phoenix.
It happened at about 8 p.m. at a Wal-Mart store in the area of 3rd Avenue and Bell Road. The victims were rushed to the hospital after the attacks.
Two people are in critical condition and a third person who was attempting to help was also hospitalized.
3TV has learned two women were walking down the street when they were attacked by the swarm of bees. Witnesses say there were so many bees that at one point they could not see the women’s faces.
Heather Laroc, who saw the bee attack, tells 3TV, “We hear screaming from outside and there’s two ladies laying in the street and they’re covered with bees from head to toe. You could just not see their skin and screaming ‘Help, help, help’.” That woman called the police and the fire department.
By the time first responders arrived the two older women were still blanketed with bees. They had been stung almost 100 times each. Two men who jumped in to try to help them were also stung. The women and one man were rushed to the hospital.
Firefighters searched for the hive and eventually found it and took it down.
The incident is a reminder for people to be on high alert, say fire officials, because at this time of year bees are rapidly reproducing and easily provoked.
Scott Walker, with the Phoenix Fire Department, explains, “This week we expect these bee calls to significantly increase from about 20 a day…just general calls…to over 200 due to the fact of all the rain, all the bloom we’ve got out there that bees are actually rapidly reproducing. They’re doing what they do.”
With this being the high season officials say to be especially aware. If you see swarms of bees you are urged to stay away, do not make any loud noises or wild movements. If you find yourself being attacked, you should cover your eyes, nose and mouth and run away as fast as you can.