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Man Killed by Swarm of 800K Bees

Huge hive found after Arizona attack
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2014 12:15 AM CDT
Man Killed by Swarm of 800K Bees
The nest filled a 55-gallon drum after exterminators had done their work.   (AP Photo/The Herald-Palladium, Don Campbell)

(Newser) – One worker died from at least 100 stings and three others were injured when bees from an 800,000-strong swarm attacked a landscape crew outside a home in Douglas, Ariz., yesterday. Firefighters discovered and destroyed a huge 3-by-8-foot hive, believed to be around 10 years old, in the home's attic, reports Tucson News Now. The 90-year-old homeowner wasn't injured, but one other worker from Douglas ARC, a nonprofit group that finds jobs for people with developmental disabilities, is in critical condition.

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"We get calls about bees fairly often, but I've never seen anything to this extent," the fire chief in the town near the Mexican border tells CNN. "This is the first time we have recorded a death in our community from bees." It's not clear what caused the attack, but the bees appear to have been aggressive Africanized ones, the fire chief says. "There are not many European honey bees left around here, so we treat them all as Africanized bees," he tells USA Today. (Read more Arizona stories.)

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