LA CANADA (CBSLA.com) — A 51-year-old woman and a teenaged girl were recovering Monday after suffering a severe bee attack that occurred when one of their cars disturbed a hive following a minor crash Sunday.
The incident occurred on the 2000 block of Los Amigos Street, when the two women were exchanging insurance information following their minor collision.
Authorities say one of the cars involved, a black Acura, disturbed the hive when it hit the tree where the bees had amassed, causing the bees to act defensively and attack the women.
The 51-year-old woman was able to jump into a nearby resident’s pool to escape the swarm, but not before she was reportedly stung nearly a thousand times.
“There were people with multiple stings, and bees just covering their whole body,” Deputy Chad Pluimer, who had responded to the emergency, said. “So we were very concerned that it could be a life-or-death situation.”
The 17-year-old, who was stung about 100 times, went into anaphylactic shock at the scene.
“I (got) out of my patrol car and got the fire extinguisher, and we were just trying to hose everybody down that was getting stung by the bees,” Deputy Anthony Pelaez said. “I’ve been in patrol for 14 years and I’ve never experienced anything like this before.”
Both women were taken to USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, where they are expected to make full recoveries.
Beekeeper Tim Porter visited the scene Monday to investigate the circumstances surrounding the attack.
“Bees are very smart, and they’re also very well organized,” Porter said. “When they sting, they release a pheromone, like a smell, and that tells other bees to come in and sting that same individual.”
Porter also gave tips on what steps to take if you find yourself being attacked by bees:
- Find an enclosed area, such as a vehicle or a house.
- Don’t panic.
- Avoid swatting and erratic movements, which will agitate the bees.
- If stung, seek immediate medical attention.
The hive was reported to be professionally sprayed by a bee-removal company.