PHOENIX -- Young Luis Romo didn’t know he was allergic to bees until Monday morning, when the 11-year-old was attacked by a swarm in his neighborhood.
“One bee just stung me, and when I went a little bit on my scooter, the rest came at me,” Romo told 3TV. “14 stung me.”
The attack happened while Romo was trying to walk to a Circle K near Knox and Alma School Road.
“It hurt,” said Romo, whose skin began swelling from the series of stings.
He ran to a nearby restaurant for help. The staff treated him until paramedics arrived. Romo was rushed to an area hospital where he was admitted to the ER in critical condition.
“I was praying the whole time,” said Claudia Romo, his sister.
She says her family is thankful for all of the help her brother received from neighbors and firefighters.
“We appreciate that very much, blessed by the help,” said Claudia Romo.
Luis Romo was prescribed with an EpiPen. The family is now more aware that bee season is in full bloom.
“When nectar flows, that brings life to the bees,” said beekeeper Dave Petersen.
“If you see a bee like this, don’t do this,” said Petersen flailing his arms. “They sense aggression.”
The experts advising moving away quickly without making too many movements. Waving your arms or swatting at the bees is the worst possible thing you can do, according to Petersen.
“Stay calm; take a deep breath. Calmly walk away,” said Petersen.
The USDA recommends running away quickly to shelter. Experts say crushed bees emit an odor which attracts more bees, which is why swatting is not recommended.
And where there’s a swarm, there may be a colony. Beekeeper Dave Petersen examined the scene of where Monday’s attack occurred and noticed the source appeared to originate from a water valve.
“It looked like if you took the lid off, it would be full of bees and honeycomb,” said Petersen.
That’s exactly what Chandler firefighters found when 3TV called them to check out the scene. They sprayed the bees and honeycomb with foam to mitigate the problem.
The Romo family now knows to keep a safe distance. “Just stay away from them,” said Luis Romo.
“Hopefully they go away soon,” added Claudia Romo.