A hive of nearly 40,000 "killer bees" repeatedly stung a Texas man even as he ran to get help.
A hive of an estimated 40,000 Africanized bees killed a man and seriously injured a woman who came to his assistance in Moody, Texas, Saturday.
The McLennan County Sheriff's Department said that Larry Goodwin was driving a tractor when he hit a hive. Goodwin jumped off the tractor and ran about 50 yards to a nearby home where he turned a garden hose on himself, but the bees persisted. Goodwin died at the scene. The homeowner, who was trying to help him, was seriously wounded.
Africanized bees — sometimes referred to as "killer bees" because of their propensity to swarm their prey by the thousands — come from interbreeding between European and African bees. The bees were inadvertently released into Brazil in the mid-20th century, according to the University of California-Riverside's entomology department.
While less venomous than European bees, Africanized bees sting more frequently and have a 10 percent greater impulse to do so, according to The Texas AgriLife Extension Service. They can be provoked by activity within 50 feet of their hive and have been known to follow victims for up to a quarter of a mile.
Africanized bees were first discovered in the United States in Texas in 1990. They've killed almost a dozen people since arriving. In 2010, a 73-year-old Georgia man was stung to death by a swarm of Africanized bees, the species' first reported appearance in the state. The bees' presence has been heavily reported in New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma and California, as well as in small parts of Arkansas and Louisiana, according to the Agricultural Research Service.
MCT: Brian Moore and Sonya Quick, The Orange County Register
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