Two workers at Picnic Island Park in Tampa, Fla., were attacked by up to 100,000 Africanized honeybees, commonly known as killer bees, reports ABC Action News. Rodney Pugh and David Zeledon had disturbed a hive located underneath a truck tire while they were cleaning up trash from the park entrance.
Thousands of killer bees swarmed from the hive and began to attack Pugh and Zeledon. According to Pugh, the stings were “like a thousand little knives poking me in my body,” notes ABC Action News. As they tried to flee, Pugh and Zeledon were stung up to 100 times each as killer bees are notoriously territorial and will pursue any perceived threat to their hive.
Pugh and Zeledon were rushed to a hospital, where they were given antibiotics and other medication to reduce the swelling and were monitored in case of any allergic reactions to the stings. Jonathan Simkins from Insect I-Q was sent to exterminate the killer bee’s hive. According to Simkins, the killer bees are especially dangerous because they swarm much more frequently than common European honeybees. Killer bees tend to swarm up to 17 times a year, while European honeybees will swarm just once a year.
“This pile of rubbish wasn't moved for three years," Simkins noted. "So this colony's been breeding and sending out colonies,” meaning killer bees were able to populate and colonize other parts of Tampa, reports ABC Action News.
"It's just in their genetics. They're just that mean. This was disturbed. It was picked up and agitated prior to us getting here," said Jason Deeringer, also of Insect I-Q. He told WFLA that killer bees cannot be distinguished from their European counterparts.
Pugh and Zeledon are expected to make full recoveries after the killer bee attack. A video report of the attack can be viewed below.