Huntington Beach Bee Attack Victim: ‘It Was Like Wearing This Huge Helmet Of Buzzing Bees’

ONTARIO (CBSLA.com) — An Ontario woman, who was stung by a swarm of bees at a Huntington Beach park last weekend, shared her harrowing ordeal Tuesday.

Mary Ann Speicher said the swelling and bruises on her arms and face finally started to go down – three days after she was attacked by a large swarm of bees at Harriett M. Wieder Regional Park.

“It itches more than it hurts,” the 70-year-old said. “It was terrifying. It was like wearing this huge helmet of buzzing bees.”

Speicher took her dog, Max, to the park Saturday morning – a place she’s been many times before.

“I’ve seen the coyotes, the possums, the squirrels, the hawks,” she said. “I have never seen even regular bees that I remember. These were unbelievable.”

She said when she saw the swarm, she immediately walked away. But more than 100 bees followed her, getting into her hair, ears and nose.

“I started screaming for help,” Speicher recalled. “I tried mashing them with the plastic bag I was carrying in the hopes I could kill them.”

When firefighters showed up, the bees started stinging them too.

“It was the most aggressive bee attack that I’ve been involved in,” Huntington Beach Fire Capt. Bob Culhane said.

“It looked like they were this big, and they just wouldn’t stop coming at you,” engineer Mike Farr of the HBFD recalled.

Firefighters hosed Speicher with foam to suppress the bees, which she did not mind as long as they saved her life.

“Not in this case. It was welcome. It was a welcome relief,” she said. “I was glad they were there.”

Speicher said the scary experience was not deterring her from returning to the park. She vowed to return.

“I think I will. But I’m going to get a big can of bug spray the next time I go up there, and I’m going to fight back,” she said.

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