'I literally got jumped by bees,' Glendale woman says of bee attack

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

A Glendale man and his neighbor are recovering today after surviving a bee attack.

Steve Mullins, 62, was washing his car in his front driveway yesterday evening when he felt something on his neck.

When he went to wipe it off, he looked up and saw a whole “cloud of bees.”

He estimates there were thousands of them.

[RELATED: Bee experts warn aggressive bees on the rise in Phoenix area]

“Before I could move, they were all over me,” said Mullins, who was stung about 50 times. “All over my arms, legs, back, my neck, my face, my eyes, my ears.”

Mullins said he fell a few times while running to his backyard and getting in his pool. He couldn’t see.

“I was scooping them out of my eyes. I was scooping them out of my ears,” he said. “I crawled the rest of the way into the water and that got them all off me.”

However, jumping in the pool is not what experts recommend you should do if swarmed by bees. To put it simply, experts say run away from the bees in a straight line.

Mullins can laugh about it now because he’s OK.

[READ MORE: Swarming bees sting 2 people in Glendale]

He’s spent the last 24 hours plucking out all the stingers and saving them in a paper towel to show his wife. She wasn’t home at the time of the bee attack.

But now she might have to deal with possibly snuggling with the stingers.

“When I woke up this morning, I had all these stingers in the sheets,” said Mullins who’s still pulling them out of his body.

Mullins chose not to go to the hospital because he didn’t have major swelling.

However, his neighbor Tracy Todd did.  

“I got stung about 30 times -- head face and arms -- and I’m just really sore today,” explained Todd. “Skin still burning, but I’m OK.”

She was inside her home when she heard Mullins screaming.

She didn’t realize what was going on until it was too late.

“I literally got jumped by bees,” she said. "I just wanted to wash my hair and I’m still pulling out stingers today."

[RELATED: Beekeeper works to 'rehabilitate' Africanized honeybees]

Her mom also got stung about 10 times and went to the hospital with her.

Today, Mullins and Todd compared stinger wounds, swelling marks, and gave each other a big hug, both thankful everyone will be fine.

“I’m happy to be alive,” said Mullins. “It could’ve gone the other way.”

[READ MORE: Bee safety 101]


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Maria HechanovaMaria’s last name is pronounced HETCH-UH-NO-VAH. She joined the 3TV/CBS 5 News team in July 2017, but is no stranger to Arizona.

Click to learn more about Maria.

Maria Hechanova

Prior to moving to Phoenix, she spent four years in Tucson reporting for KOLD News 13 and KMSB FOX 11 covering wildfires, VA transportation issues, and Southern Arizona's largest school district.

Before that, she worked for WLNS-TV, the CBS affiliate in Lansing, Michigan where she learned a lot about the auto industry and almost never took off her parka.

Maria also reported in Yuma where she had the incredible opportunity to fly with the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels and cover countless military homecomings.

She got her start at KPHO in 2008 as a college intern and is happy to be back and working with professionals who helped shape her career.

Shortly after college, Maria landed an internship with the TODAY Show in New York City thanks to the help of the Asian American Journalists Association.

She graduated from Northern Arizona University where she was also a member of the women's swimming and diving team.

Maria grew up in the Valley and went to Ironwood High School in Glendale.

When not reporting the news, she’s hunting for the best carne asada tacos or bowl of pho, swimming laps, or hanging out with her USMC veteran husband and rescued Shih Tzu.

In addition to Facebook and Twitter, you also can find Maria at @MariaHechanovaTV on Instagram.

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