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Texas man dead after being attacked by aggressive bees

Friday, April 30th 2021, 8:42 am - Thomas Hicks, 70, went into cardiac arrest and died, despite receiving medical attention.

An elderly man in Texas is dead after being attacked by an aggressive swarm of bees.

Breckenridge firefighters arrived at the scene Monday not long after 70-year-old Thomas Hicks was stung by hundreds of bees that swarmed him while he was mowing his lawn.

Fire chief Calvin Chaney tells KTXS News the loud sound of the mower may have startled the bees, provoking the attack.

Hicks went into his home to notify his wife, but the bees followed him inside. He received medical attention but went into cardiac arrest.

His wife was sent to the hospital suffering from numerous bee stings and was released Tuesday.

Hicks's property is situated near a large tree that housed several beehives and an estimated 60,000 bees.

A beekeeper was called to subdue the bees and relocate the hives.

BEE SAFETY

Spring is a busy time for bees, and there are several things people can do to stay out of their way and remain safe, according to the U.S. Department of Agricultural Service:

  • Avoid bee colonies. Common honey bee nesting spots include trees, pipes, and sometimes holes in buildings.
  • If you see a bee colony, stay away. If that's not possible, try your best not to disturb the bees.
  • Bees tend to be most active in the mid-to-late afternoon. Wear light-coloured clothing (bees may become aggravated by colours that make you look like bear or a honey badger) and avoid strong scents when outdoors during this time.
  • Be careful when operating machinery that is loud and/or vibrates.

IF YOU ENCOUNTER AGGRESSIVE BEES

  • Run away quickly. Pull your shirt over your head to protect your face.
  • Do not flail your arms. Movement aggravates bees, and crushed bees release a chemical that attracts more of them.
  • Try to run to an enclosed space. If one isn't available, a dark or shady spot may confuse them.
  • Do not jump into water. They will hover above and wait for you to come up for air.
  • If trapped, cover up with clothing, blankets, and anything else that's available.
  • Seek medical attention if you feel unwell after a bee sting.
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