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African bee attack in Texas

6:23 PM, Mar 15, 2013   |    comments
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KFDX) -- According to a local bee keeper they were Africanized bees that had set up in the wall of the house.

Around noon today something set them off that had them attacking everyone in sight, even some animals, and sending at least one person to the hospital.

Emergency crews blocked off Ireland Street around noon today but it was not because of fire.

It was because of bees.

"There could be 20, 30, 40 thousand in this one swarm in this wall. Actually it's a hive in this wall," says beekeeper David Potter.

Something disturbed that hive causing the bees to strike.

Officials say three people inside the house made it out although one woman was taken to the hospital with several stings.

However, they were not the only victims.

"One of my officers did get stung but he's all right. He got stung once but he's gonna be okay," explains Steve Dodge, animal control supervisor.

Officer David Hoard was not only stung on the left ear but also on both hands.

And two dogs on the property were also targets of the swarming insects.

It's unknown what caused the bees to attack but their their aggressiveness forced this bee keeper to fight back.

"Being they're Africanized, I euthanized them," says Potter.

Now that spring is approaching Potter says encounters with bees will happen more often.

So he's offering this advice.

"Do not swat at the bees. The more you swat the more they attack. Just put your head down. Walk away. Get as far away as you can. Try to get in a dark area, a shaded area, try to get in the house. Get away from them," Potter says.

David Potter says based on the large number of bees present and the honeycomb found inside the wall of the house he anticipates the hive to have been there for at least two years.

As for the residents, neighbors tell me they moved in about two weeks ago.

But until the house is deemed safe to return to the American Red Cross will provide them with food and a hotel room.

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