Bees attack 3 people at north Phoenix home after hive disturbed


by Alicia E. Barrón

Posted on March 24, 2010 at 4:06 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 5:35 AM

PHOENIX – In less than a week a second bee attack has taken place sending one person to the hospital.

The bee hive was discovered in a pile of wood in the backyard of a house near 10th Avenue and Bell Road.

Things went wrong when the homeowner and some friends tried to get rid of it on their own.

Taylor Montoya got a weird warning today. She received a text message from her mom and it actually scared her. She lives near the bee hive and says, “I freaked out. I freaked out and I called her.”

A couple of doors down from Montoya's home a bee hive loaded with African honey bees was disturbed and stinging people in the neighborhood.

Streets were quickly blocked by fire trucks for safety and people, including Montoya, were told they could not go home.

Frank Soloman, with the Phoenix Fire Department, says, “For awhile there, for a few minutes, it was difficult because the swarm kept moving around.

Firefighters doused a wood pile sheltering the bee hive with foam. One woman was stung numerous times and was taken to the hospital. 3TV has been told she will be fine.

The incident started after the homeowner found the bee hive in her backyard and wanted to get rid of it on her own. Soloman explain, “The owner called some friends, the friends came over and attempted to remove the hive by just donning plastic bags over their heads.”

Thousands of angry bees swarmed the neighborhood and it took two bug inspectors from the city to actually kill the bees and capture the queen.

By the time it was safe enough for 3TV to get in with the cameras a few bees still buzzed around.

Montoya says, “It makes it scary to see little kids out here and to know that they can get hurt because of them, it just makes me want to stay inside.”

Because of all the rain we have gotten, fire crews expect to see more bees this year than in previous and possibly even more bee attacks.

Read a Bee Safety Tip Sheet by the City of Mesa.