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100,000 Killer Bees Attack Florida Park Workers Who Disturbed Hive

Thursday, 07 March 2013 08:15 AM

Two Florida park employees were attacked by as many as 100,000 killer bees after accidentally upending a hive while cleaning up trash.

David Zeledon and Rodney Pugh, employees at Picnic Island Park in Port Tampa, Fla., were using a front-end loader to clear a pile of trash near the park's entrance when they stumbled on an old truck tire. Unaware that the hive was inside the tire, the men overturned it and were immediately engulfed by a swarm of aggressive Africanized honeybees (commonly known as "killer bees").

"It was like a thousand little knives poking me in my body; my ears were just throbbing with pain," Pugh told ABC Action News. "It was like bees all in the cab. So I'm trying to swat, and they say never to swat bees."

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Though Zeledon and Pugh immediately ran off to escape, they were stung nearly 100 times each.

"It's the worst feeling, because you just had so many and they wouldn't stop," Pugh said.

The bees are thought to have originally come from Africa or South America, possibly aboard a port ship, Jonathan Simkins of Insect I.Q., the company called out to exterminate the hive, told ABC. He also said he expects to see other killer bee attacks in Florida.

"The problem that we're having is the wild bees," Simkins told ABC. "This pile of rubbish wasn't moved for three years. So this colony's been breeding and sending out colonies."

Africanized honeybees are said to be extremely defensive and relentless when in attack mode.

"They have a horrible attitude," Insect I.Q. employee Jason Deeringer told ABC's Tampa Bay affiliate WFLA.

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The park employees were hospitalized and treated with antibiotics and swelling reducers. They are both expected to recover from the attack.

A Texas couple wasn’t so lucky. In 2011, killer bees reportedly killed William Steele, 95, and his wife Myrtle, 92, after they exposed a hive while moving a wood stove.

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As many as 100,000 killer bees attacked two Florida park employees who accidentally upended a hive while cleaning up trash.
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Thursday, 07 March 2013 08:15 AM
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