Buckeye woman stung more than 75 times during family photo shoot, first responders say
BUCKEYE, Ariz. - While taking photos on a Sunday afternoon in Buckeye, a family was at the center of a bee swarm, but a mother's quick thinking saved her kids.
Crews from Arizona Fire and Medical Authority, Buckeye Valley Fire and Buckeye Fire responded to the area of Beloat and Rainbow roads for reports of a swarm of bees attacking a family.
In dispatch audio, the kid's grandmother called 911 saying to "please hurry, please hurry, my daughter can't get in the car, she's being attacked by bees."
"The mother’s quick thinking saved the children from being stung. She put them in the car and subsequently took the brunt of the stings. She was transported to the hospital with over 75 stings but thankfully has recovered," authorities said.
Foam was used to calm the bees and the kids were rescued from the car.
"If you are attacked by bees getting inside to a safe place is key. Run in a straight line, cover your face, and get to shelter. Never get into water and do not fight the bees," authorities cautioned.
"A swarm of bees came upon them and the quick thinking of the mom, she decided, ‘Hey, I’m gonna get my kids into the car, get them to safety.' I'm not sure as to why she didn't put herself in the car afterward. Maybe she was thinking that the bees would follow her in. But she drew that swarm away and took the brunt of those stings," said Ashley Losch with Arizona Fire and Medical Authority.
She says the family is traumatized and that they're physically OK, but are still recovering emotionally.
More information about how to survive a bee attack can be found here: https://cals.arizona.edu/pubs/insects/ahb/inf18.html
Aaron Lorti is the owner of AZ Bee Kings and says April is known as bee season.
"Around this time of year, they’re pollinating, picking new places, they are swarming," he explained. "You can get anywhere from 10 to 20 calls a day."
He says that the bees in our Phoenix area aren’t sweet as honey, either.
They're known as "killer bees," and they will buzz with fury.
"What that means is they are very, very aggressive, very territorial, and if you mess with them, they will try to kill you," Lorti said.
With one sting, they leave back pheromones to signal for the others to attack.
"Once one stings you and you try to run away, the whole hive will try to go after you," Lorti said.
With bees making homes in grills, roofs and air conditioning units, he warns not having a professional deal with could come back to sting you.
"You do not want to mess with these types of bees by yourself," he warned.