April 21, 2013
Killer Bees Attack Florida Man And Pet Dog, Dog Dies
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
A swarm of killer bees attacked a 65-year-old Florida man and his dog Thursday afternoon (April 18) before turning their attention on the firefighters who responded to his 911 call for help, according to various media reports.
The man, Robert Denmark of West Park, Florida, was giving his pet Ricco a bath when they were swarmed by bees from a nearby tree, reports Penny Eims of Examiner.com. Denmark attempted to spray them using a hose but it could not prevent the attack.
“They started getting on [Ricco] because the shampoo I was using was attracting them to him,” Denmark said. “I didn't know a nest was over there and all of a sudden they just started swarming down and they just covered my face.”
“The only way I got them off me was I lit a fire. I went in my shed and got some mineral spirits and poured it on a rag and lit it and waved it,” he said, according to HuffPost.
Ricco was stung multiple times by the insects, and even though Denmark rushed the dog to the vet after being rescued by firefighters, the six-year-old, 80-pound Rottweiler eventually succumbed to his injuries.
Denmark´s face was reportedly stung multiple times by the insects. The man´s wife, Cyntheria, and her pet dog remained inside the house and were not harmed.
The neighbor who owned the property where the tree was located contacted a bee removal service to get rid of the hive, which was located in the base of the trunk, according to the HuffPost.
The specialist told reporters he first used insecticide smoke and dust, then sealed off the opening since the hive could not be removed. He estimated the hive had been home to as many as 50,000 bees.
This has not been the first time bees have killed dogs in South Florida.
A Palm Beach County resident in 2008 had an encounter with a swarm of bees that attacked her three dogs. The 70-year-old woman survived, but all three dogs died from the injuries, according to HuffPost.
The newspaper noted bees have been known to kill not only dogs, but horses as well. Despite human attacks, South Florida has not reported a single death from killer bee attacks to date.
Rolie Calzadilla of Bird and Bee Removal service said the problem will only get worse as aggressive Africanized bees cross-breed with passive European bees. He told HuffPost that the “queen lays about 1,500 eggs per day and bees live up to 42 days.”