ST. GEORGE — One man was seriously injured and several other people received minor injuries when bees swarmed Elks Field in St. George Friday.
Captain Rob Hooper, of the St. George Fire Department, said an established underground beehive near a telephone pole at the baseball field was disturbed just after 11 a.m. Bees swarmed from the hive, creating disarray at a baseball tournament that was in progress.
First responders at the scene evacuated as many people as they could, but by that time several individuals had been stung, some multiple times. Most were treated and released at the scene; however, a spectator in his mid-70s was stung 200-300 times and had to be transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center.
Hooper said there were over a thousand bees swarming from the hive that were aggressive. The bees had to be destroyed with a combination of water and foam.
Casey Lofthouse, a local beekeeper and a member of the Washington County Search and Rescue team, said if you are ever the victim of a bee swarm, the best thing to do is to cover your head and neck the best you can; vacate the area, helping others as you go; and get indoors as soon as possible.
“Bees will protect their home,” Lofthouse said. “Both Africanized or European honeybees will protect their hives. The main difference is that the Africanized bees are more aggressive.”
Hooper said he did not know whether the bees in Friday’s swarm were Africanized or European bees.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.
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