Authorities announced that a Texas man died after being attacked by an angry swarm of bees outside his house.
Thomas Hicks, 70, was mowing his lawn in Breckenridge, about 130 miles west of Dallas when he was stung by a swarm of killer bees, also known as Africanized honey bees.
In a Facebook post, the Breckenridge Fire Department said that when they arrived on the scene with the sheriff’s department on Monday, they were confronted with “very aggressive bee activity.” The man was seriously stung and went into cardiac arrest, according to medical officials.
“AMR did everything they could to make this a positive outcome but multiple issues turned this into a tragedy with one person not surviving the attack.” the post said, reported Nine News.
The man’s wife was rescued from the swarming bees by a firefighter. He removed his protective gear and dressed her in his uniform to get her out of the house safely. Fire officials stated that she was taken to the hospital for treatment after being pulled out from the scene.
“When all patients were removed from the scene, Sheriff’s deputies and firefighters went door to door and advised people not to use outside noise making equipment until bees could hive back up and calm down,” the fire department said.
A local beekeeper offered his specialized equipment to help find the hive and then removed it.
Africanized honey bees are aptly labeled “killer bees,” as they differ significantly from the typically docile honey bees that gorge themselves on nectar and pollen from flower gardens.
The bees are thought to have been agitated by the vibrations of the Texas man’s lawnmower.
“Africanized (honey bee) colony is a whole different ballgame and the way they are managed and behave,” Georgia Bee Removals’ operations chief, Bobby Chaisson, told CNN. “Especially when you are dealing with that species of honeybee, absolutely, the vibration of a lawnmower, the vibration of a weed eater, kids banging or stomping around close by—they will get defensive.”