Four Hospitalized After Massive Bee Swarm Attack

Thousands of bees descended upon an Arizona neighborhood, stinging six people and hospitalizing four.


n a warm late-summer day in Gilbert, Arizona, thousands of bees descended upon the town’s residents. The massive swarm stung six people, and four of them were hospitalized. One of the victims of the attack was a local firefighter who endured 40 to 50 painful stings all over his body.

As firefighters and local officials arrived at the scene, dozens of Gilbert residents retreated to their homes. They were advised by authorities to remain indoors until the situation was contained. Mike Connor, deputy chief with the Gilbert Fire and Rescue Department, describes the chaos of conducting rescue operations amidst the swarm. He and his crew heard of several people who were stung and tried to retreat into their home. To get them to safety, the rescue team needed to clear away the angry swarm.

A single bee sting may be painful, but dozens of them from a bee swarm can be fatal.

“Our crews were told that a couple kids had been stung but there were so many bees they couldn’t get inside the home,” he said. “Basically they just started putting foam on the front of the house. It wasn’t a hive, they were swarming.”

They were eventually able to enter through the back door.

In addition to the injured firefighter, three others required hospitalization after recieving dozens of stings. A 3 year-old boy, a 14 year-old girl, and a 22-year-old woman were rushed to the hospital, but they all appear to be recovering as of Wednesday.

If there’s a lesson to be learned here, it’s summarized by Mike Connor: “If you find a hive, leave it alone.”

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Timothy Bertrand
Writer and journalist living in the Houston, Texas area. Follow me for breaking news, editorials, pictures of cats doing human activities, and other such content from around the web.


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