Exclusive video shows Florence man and dog attacked by hundreds of bees

A man is recovering after he was attacked and stung hundreds of times by killer bees in Arizona. (Source: Arizona's Family)
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 10:16 PM MST
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FLORENCE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- On Monday, 60-year-old John Fischer was released from a hospital after he and his dog, Pippin, were attacked by hundreds of bees on Saturday evening in his neighborhood. Fischer said doctors told him they were ‘killer bees.’ “I have never experienced anything like this before. I had been stung many times before but nothing where it was more than 10 or 15 stings,” said Fischer during an exclusive interview.

Arizona’s Family was with Fischer when he opened a bag containing the clothes he wore during the attack. When he shook the items, out came at least 30 bees. Only one was alive, barely, before Fischer ran it over with his wheelchair as an act of revenge. “There was a part of me that wanted to freak out, and there was a part of me that wanted to panic. And I knew, from past experience, that that’s where you’ll lose it. And you’re no longer in control. That’s where you run into more danger,” said Fischer.

Fischer said he was riding his wheelchair-exercise bike that allows him to pedal with his hands since he lost one leg to infection about eight years ago. His dog, Pippin, was leashed in the wheelchair. He said he suddenly thought he felt a fly and swatted it away. “Next thing I know, there were bees all over me and all over the dog,” said Fischer. “I tried to get across the street, but I can’t see ‘cause they’re going towards my eyes, and they’re all over my face.”

Fischer said he decided to release his dog from his wheelchair, and Pippin eventually ran away to Fischer’s next-door neighbor. But Fischer’s wheelchair tipped over. “I crawled my way for a period of time to try to get far away from where they were, but they, of course, just followed me,” he said.

Arizona’s Family received surveillance video showing Fischer on the ground trying to use his shirt as a shield over his head against the bees. The bees weren’t visible from the camera, but bees could be seen flying near the lens. Moments later, first responders showed up. When they approached Fischer, they ran back after the bees attacked them.

In another clip, crews were seen hosing down Fischer, who was on the floor. He was later moved to a stretcher and hosed again before being taken to the hospital. Fischer said he changed clothes and was given morphine before having the stingers removed.

We asked how many bees they found. “How many stingers? They said I was over 250,” said Fischer. He said a first responder told him there were about 1,000 bees swarming him and a couple thousand in the area.

Fischer is now covered in bee stings on his arms, eyes, mouth, ears, legs and back. He also has scrapes on his knee and elbows from crawling on the sidewalk. He said Pippin was also stung over 50 times and was taken to an animal hospital. Pippin is now home and given a 9/10 chance of surviving, but he is in bad shape. “He’s sick. We’re trying to get him to drink. He is very sore, and what I can see is he’s pretty lethargic. We’re also giving him Benadryl, so that’s going to knock him out,” said Fischer.

Fischer said he’s grateful his daughter wasn’t with him that night, as she is allergic to bees and would’ve likely died. He said he is grateful to the Florence Fire Department for their quick response and appreciates his neighbors that searched for Pippin and have started a meal train. Fischer would like for the community to be extra careful when walking outside and hopes the community will find the nests.

Arizona’s Family reached out to the HOA confirmed to cover the area but did not receive a response. Fischer’s daughter also sent AZFamily a picture of a bee control company in the neighborhood. We gave them a call and left a message after no one answered.