A maintenance worker at a golf course in Arizona was attacked by bees over the weekend after encountering a beehive, first responders said.
According to officials from the Arizona Fire and Medical Authority (AFMA), a man in his 50s was stung nearly 2,000 times Saturday at Pebblebrook Golf Course in Sun City West.
The city is located in Maricopa County, approximately 30 miles northwest of downtown Phoenix.
When firefighters first approached the man, they initially thought he was covered in grass clippings, according to an AFMA spokesperson. But as they got closer, they discovered that it was more like bees.
Authorities aren’t sure exactly how the bees were able to attack him, but firefighters, wearing balaclavas and bee blankets for protection, used foam to subdue the bees and enable them to save the man.
He was then taken to hospital for treatment. Monday morning, the man remained intubated in the hospital.
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What should I do if I encounter a swarm?
If you come across a potential swarm, the best thing to do is to stay calm and leave.
“When they’re dealing with bees that start coming towards you, the first thing they’ll do is hit you, because if they sting you, they’ll die,” said Duane Combs, president of the Beekeepers Association. of Central Arizona and Master Beekeeper from the University of Montana, Arizona Republic. , which is part of the USA TODAY Network. “When you see bees circling or bumping into you, you should back off and get out of the area.”
Don’t hit them either, as this will be perceived as an aggressive move, which could cause the bee to become more defensive and increase the risk of being stung.
Additional tips to avoid getting bitten
Here are some additional expert tips to help you avoid attracting a bee’s attention:
- Avoid wearing dark, loose clothing or shiny objects while hiking
- Avoid wearing perfumes, colognes or strong perfumes
- Do not make jerky movements near hives
- Don’t crush the bees