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Landscaper dies from bee stings!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LouisianaLawnboy, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. LouisianaLawnboy

    LouisianaLawnboy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,199

    A 55-year-old man died Wednesday after suffering hundreds of bee stings while working outdoors in the northern San Diego County city of Encinitas, the Sheriff's Department said.

    The man, described as a landscaper, was operating a backhoe in a brushy area near the San Elijo Lagoon when the equipment apparently disturbed a colony of bees.

    As he was being stung repeatedly, the man — whose name was not released — fled to an outhouse about 200 yards away. He was found there moments later by authorities responding to an emergency call. He was pronounced dead at Scripps Memorial Hospital in Encinitas.

    A 20-year-old nephew working with him was also stung but did not require hospitalization.

    It is not known what kind of bees were involved in the attack. But San Diego County is considered to have colonies of aggressive Africanized honey bees throughout the region, although attacks are rare.

    Each spring, when the number of bees multiplies, county agricultural officials warn the public and provide suggestions on how to avoid being attacked. Among them: Avoid wearing cologne or after-shave, wear white socks — bees are attracted to dark socks — and don't flail or swat at the bees.

    Nationwide, about 40 people a year die from bee stings.


    MS_SURVEYOR LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,002

    I'm very sad to read this! What a bad way to die. Stung time after time until death. I'm always in the bush, and I'm always looking out for stinging bees and wasp. One of my biggest fears! My prayers go out to the family. Keep your eyes open.
  3. LouisianaLawnboy

    LouisianaLawnboy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,199

    I've gotten stung before. I was cutting a customers back yard when I felt a sting, so I slammed the bars down and went toward the back yard. When I turned back to look, there was a swarm just like the cartoons coming at me. I hit something and flew off the mower and busted my face on a rock. The whole time bees are stinging me. I finally got into the truck, where I finished getting the bees out of my hair and killing any in the truck.

    If you get stung, go straight toward your truck. I probably wouldn't have gotten stung half as bad if I would have went straight to the truck.

    That guy would probably would not have died. That shed was probably full of cracks and stuff.

    If not dive into some water.
  4. ajslands

    ajslands LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,238

    I live on an island so if thus happens, I'm either jumping in the next door neighboors pool or in the river/ straight/lake
    Posted via Mobile Device

    MS_SURVEYOR LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,002

    I don't know? Something to think about! I'm a Land Surveyor, so I'm a long ways from the truck most of the time. I've never run across any Africanized honey bees, but I know there could be a time. I've read about attacks, and getting the truck to limit the numbers would be a safe move. People ask me all the time about snakes. I worry about snakes, but it's the flying stinging insects that get my attention. I just pray I never run across killer bees, because I would have very little defense.

    Yep! We're moving in to July! Yellow Jackets my friends. It's that time of the year again!!! :cry:
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Bees, and wasps attack when they feel their colony is being threatened,
    once any one of these goes into attack mode it releases a scent that the
    entire hive can and will follow.

    If the person getting stung happens to be you, it would be best to immediately
    consider yourself 'marked' by that scent.
    This scent creates a connection.

    And nothing, absolutely nothing can break that connection except a physical barrier.

    Get in the truck a.s.a.p.
    Granted water would work as well, but the barrier can't have cracks or breaks in it.

    Once the connection is broken the area is usually safe within a matter of minutes.
  7. Leaf Jockey

    Leaf Jockey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 377

    Yep, they must mark their target. We were brushing out a lot when a coworker disturbed some bees. I noticed him freaking out and we ran over and started knocking the bees off of him and tried to get him out of there. He was stung about forty times and we never got stung. He missed three months of work from that.

  8. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    Personally I wouldn't do work involving disturbing overgrown areas in the summertime in parts of the country infested with these bees. I also wouldn't do it here even if they may not be here yet, as I am not partial to getting stung.
  9. TheC-Master

    TheC-Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 819

    I haven't been stung since 97, but I remember when I was stung... not fun.
  10. twcw5804

    twcw5804 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    My wife got attacked last year by a hive she hit in the ground. She came running in the back yard screaming and I could immediately see them swarming around her. I beat them off her with my hat and rushed her to the truck. In the end she got it 6 times and has not mowed with me but a couple times since then.

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