Published: Thu, July 19, 2018

California woman expected to survive 'head to toe' bee ordeal

California woman expected to survive 'head to toe' bee ordeal

"She was screaming and I was telling her, 'Move from the bees".

The woman had arrived to clean a home in the 23000 block of Buckland Lane in Lake Forest just before 10:30 a.m. when she was attacked by a swarm of bees, according to Orange County Fire Authority Capt.

- A swarm of bees attacked a cleaning woman Monday in Lake Forest, landing her in a hospital in critical condition, and then attacked four firefighters who were coming to her aid.

It is believed that the woman was attacked by a swarm of from 30 000 to 80 000 bees after she parked the vehicle near the hive which was hidden in the bushes, the Associated Press reports.

But that insight wouldn't come until later.

The bees "were nearly in clusters", one of the firefighters, Ryan Wilson, told KNBC.

By the time they got her to safety, she was "barely conscious", having been stung more than 200 times.

Donning protective gear would take too long, the firefighters decided, so they sprung into action without it.


Opting not to wait for special suits to protect them from the bees, the firefighters rushed in with a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher they typically use for grease fires, Bommarito said. It was bad. And I felt so powerless.

The housekeeper, identified as Maria who is in her mid-50s, was walking to get something from her auto outside the home where she works in Orange County, California, when the bees emerged from a gas meter hidden by a bush.

They stopped the brunt of the attack.

Southern California firefighters were responding to a reported bee sting Monday when they discovered a terrifying scene: Bees were swarming on a 50-year-old woman, stinging her hundreds of times.

According to local ABC and Fox affiliates, the woman is a housekeeper in her 50s who was working at one of her clients' homes when she was attacked. Despite being attacked by as many as 80,000 bees, as reports have suggested, she is expected to make a successful recovery from her injuries. Authorities said she was stung about 200 times. Tony Bommarito told Patch. "Anybody, allergy or not, is gonna be in serious condition after that".

Two firefighters were also stung during the rescue, but returned to work immediately after being treated.

The bees' behavior mirrors that of Africanized honey bees, also called "killer bees", and KCAL 9 reports that the bees were Africanized honey bees. They crossbred with domestic honeybees, and have been making their way north ever since. "The insects can become agitated by vibrations from as far away as 100 feet and can pursue a victim for more than a quarter-mile".

What are "Africanized" bees, anyway?

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