Breckenridge Texan

Local man airlifted for medical treatment after bee attack

Local man airlifted for medical treatment after bee attack
September 14
16:27 2018

UPDATE: From the Breckenridge Fire Department’s Facebook page: “Bee update at 6:40 pm: Bees are completely hived up and they are not flying. We have located the hive on second floor eave of a house, we will return early in the morning when it’s cool and use large streams and dawn soap and destroy the hive.” — Calvin/Chaney:BFD


Original story:

A Breckenridge man has been airlifted for medical treatment after he was attacked by bees while mowing his lawn in the 300 block of West Lindsey Street on Friday afternoon, according to Breckenridge Fire Chief Calvin Chaney.

When the firefighters arrived on the scene, the man was on the porch covered in bees, Chaney said.

“They had their bunker gear on – we don’t have bee gear – so they put on their bunker gear, and they went up there and they foamed him – sprayed the guy with Dawn soap,” he said. “They had to go into the bees – all the firefighters did – and drag the guy out to an ambulance.”

After the ambulance left, the firefighters left the scene, but the bees followed them for about a block and a half or two blocks from the house. The bees continued to hit the firefighters and their trucks as they left the area.

“They were letting us know, ‘Hey, this is our area,’” Chaney said about the bees. “So, we backed off.”

The street was already blocked off due to the road construction in the area, but residents could still drive down part of the street. After the bee attack, the firefighters blocked the street with their trucks.

“We have a truck on each end, keeping the kids out of here,” the fire chief said. “The school has been notified not to let kids walk down here until these bees calm down.”

Chaney said the bees will calm down on their own and then the owner of the house can arrange for a beekeeper to trap the bees and remove them from the area. The home owner has never had a problem with bees before, but they may have built a hive under or near the house and the lawn mower agitated them, he said.

In a Facebook post at about 5:15 p.m. Friday, Chaney stated that the fire department was looking for an exterminator to take care of the bees. He also emphasized in the post that the bees were only active in front of the house where the attack occurred.

The man received hundreds and hundreds of stings, Chaney said. Although the fire chief doesn’t know the condition of the victim, he said his condition must have been serious since he was airlifted out of Breckenridge.

The firefighters responding to the scene were also stung, but none were seriously injured.

Additionally, according to a Facebook post by Chaney, a “code red” announcement has been sent to the  people in the immediate area, advising them to stay indoors and to avoid operating any outside equipment that generates noise and could agitate the bees again.

“Stay clear of this area from Rose to Miller from Lindsey to Firs Street,” the fire chief posted.


Story by Tony Pilkington and Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: A Breckenridge Fire Department pickup blocks the intersection of North Rose and West Lindsey streets Friday afternoon following a bee attack in the area. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)


Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 5:35 p.m. (CDT) on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018, to delete the term “Africanized” in describing the bees. According to a follow-up Facebook post by Fire Chief Calvin Chaney, he clarified his earlier statement to say that the bees have not been professionally identified as Africanized bees but that they were very aggressive during the attack. Additionally, the story was updated to include the paragraph regarding an exterminator, based on Chaney’s Facebook post.

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