EDITOR’S NOTE: The discovery of Africanized “killer” bees just miles from St. Charles Parish in the greater New Orleans metro area suggests all residents should be vigilant. This first-person account from a hunter who had a run-in with the insects in Arizona shows how dangerous they can be.
I was quail hunting 30 miles north of Wickenburg, Arizona with my 12-year-old grandson.
One bee attacked my left ear. I swatted it away not even thinking it was a bee. Two steps later we were swarmed by hundreds of bees. We ran to my truck which was about 100 yards away and got into the truck with about 200 bees.
I dropped my keys outside the truck and could not start the truck. We were trapped inside fighting for our lives killing bees. This went on for about 30 minutes and we were near exhaustion from the heat and the stings.
A man saw our fix and bailed out of his truck and scooped up my keys. I opened the door letting in another 50 to 75 bees.
Got the truck started and started to the hospital in Wickenburg. I am 61 and I did not think I was going to make it. My grandson was in shock. We got treated in the emergency room. I was very short of breath and did not think I would make it. They picked the bee stingers out with tweezers and I got very ill shortly thereafter. Got some oxygen on and recovered pretty quickly.
They took 67 stingers out of my arms and face, unknown amount of stings on my head. My grandson had 47 stings not counting his head. I drove us home OK but still feel a little shaky today.
I have never seen an animal or insect attack with such determination to kill its prey. I have hunted all of my life in the desert and high country and still do not believe what happened to us. We almost died out there. Pass this on to anyone who doubts how dangerous these bees are.
Tom - Peoria, Arizona
|Africanized "killer bee."|