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He Tried to Yank Out a Hive. The Bees Became 'Agitated'

51-year-old Arizona man dead after insects attack him in yard
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2019 7:30 AM CDT
A terrible accident involving bees in Arizona.   (Getty Images/William Jones-Warner)

(Newser) – The wife of Epigmenio Gonzalez was stung, as were several first responders and police officers, after the 51-year-old Arizona man tried to yank a beehive out from behind a couch in his Yuma yard. But Gonzalez ended up "covered with bees"—and it proved fatal, ABC News reports. A press release from the Yuma County Sheriff's Office says that Sunday evening a call to the sheriff's office at around 6:30 reported a man being stung by "numerous bees." Investigators later found out Gonzalez had been attempting to pull out a beehive nestled behind a sofa in his backyard, and the bees had become "agitated."

The insects converged upon Gonzalez, per the release, and arriving sheriff's deputies and emergency workers found him in the front yard, where he'd apparently run as he tried to escape the swarm. Rescuers sprayed Gonzalez with water so they could pull him away from the bees, then rushed him to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. A female at the home was also attacked by the bees and was brought to the hospital, though her condition is unclear. The cops and first responders suffered only minor injuries from the bee stings and didn't require medical treatment. (Tens of thousands of bees swarmed a NYC hot dog stand.)

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