A massive swarm of bees attacked four people today in a residential area north of Tampa, Florida, injuring three of them so severely they had to be hospitalized, police said.
Pasco County Police Information Officer Doug Tobin said the incident involved a wild hive in a tree that may have contained 20,000 to 30,000 bees. It was unclear exactly how many of the bees made it out of the hive and stung the victims.
Pasco Fire Rescue was called to respond to the incident at 11:26 a.m. Sunday and when they arrived on scene, three adult men were being swarmed. All three were taken to a nearby hospital with as many as 50 bee stings each, according to Tobin.
A fourth victim, a woman, was stung about a dozen times as she came out of her home, but was less seriously injured.
Firefighters used a hose to "douse the bees," Tobin said, finally getting them to disperse.
A beekeeper was brought in to attempt to smoke the bees to calm them, but recommended that they be left alone for 24 hours. Residents have been told to stay indoors if possible.
Tobin said that investigators are looking into reports that an attempt to scrape the hive for honey may have been made around the time of the attack, which may have disturbed the bees.