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Angered Bees Attack Woman at Home

Hive, believed to be of 'killer' bees, was in a La Habra yard. It is O.C.'s second major incident in 11 days.

August 24, 2004|Mai Tran | Times Staff Writer

A La Habra woman was stung multiple times Monday by a swarm of bees, officials said, the second such attack in Orange County in less than two weeks.

The unidentified woman was in the yard of her home in the 500 block of East Florence Avenue about 12:30 p.m. when an estimated 12,000 bees attacked, fire officials said.

The 42-year-old woman was stung on the face, neck and arms. She was treated at the scene and was expected to recover, fire officials said.

La Habra Battalion Chief Andy Grzywa said it was unclear what had provoked the bees. "They appear to be easily [irritated]."

The bees, believed to be Africanized honeybees, had nested inside an empty 18-inch clay planter for at least two months, Grzywa said. Exterminator Carl Moore was called to kill the insects and remove about 50 pounds of honey.

Joielynn Aguirre, 18, said she was doing laundry and looked out the window to see the woman trying to fight off the bees with a water hose.

"We were going to help but there were too many bees," said Aguirre, whose family rents the rear house to the injured woman. "I just told her we'd call the ambulance. I was scared." Aguirre stayed inside and closed all the windows.

She said the planter was cleaned out about six months ago. "We had a barbecue [Sunday night] and we saw bees coming out, but today, they just all came out," she said. "It's been there for a while, and we didn't even know about it."

About 120,000 Africanized bees swept through a Santa Ana neighborhood on Aug. 12 after boys threw rocks at them. The bees stung 13 people. Two dogs, stung more than 100 times each, were killed.

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