McALLEN — Four people were transported to the hospital after a swarm of bees began attacking passersby near downtown McAllen Thursday.
A release from the city said six people in total were stung, including a McAllen firefighter, and that two of those individuals were transported to the hospital in critical condition.
McAllen Fire Department Chief Jim Schultz described that pair’s injuries as likely non life-threatening, but he said they were stung numerous times.
Schultz said the department received a call about bees stinging people on Cedar Avenue between 20th and 21st Streets around midday.
The department responded to the scene with animal control, where they found a house with
“a large amount of honeycomb in the walls of this residence, so the bees had been there for quite some time,” Schultz said.
Responders removed the honeycomb and Schultz said by 3 p.m. the main hazard was gone, although there was still a large amount of angry bees flying around the neighborhood and the public was being urged to avoid it.
“Those are going to dissipate on their own and find someplace else to move onto,” he said. “Unfortunately when it’s a situation where they’re attacking people we have to take immediate action to protect the people, so we did have to use a method that killed some of the bees.”
Emergency calls for bee attacks are commonplace in the warmer months, Schultz said, although usually those incidents occur in more remote areas, often where someone is cutting grass or clearing brush.
Schultz speculated that a loud noise from down the road may have agitated the swarm.
“I understand that in close proximity to the house that had the bees were some automotive repair businesses and sometimes bees tend to attack loud noises such as machinery and motors or whatnot,” he said
According to the city’s release, it is undetermined whether the bees were Africanized or not.
The attack comes a day after a north Texas man died after going into cardiac arrest when he was attacked by an aggressive swarm of bees outside his home.
The 70-year-old man was mowing his lawn Monday when he was repeatedly stung by the bees outside his home in Breckenridge, about 130 miles west of Dallas, authorities said.
The Breckenridge Fire Department said first responders there faced “very aggressive bee activity” when they arrived at the home.
The hive was located inside a tree and firefighters killed the bees by spraying foam onto them, authorities said.