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A Swarm Of 30 to 40K Africanized Bees Sends 5 To Hospital In Pasadena With Stings

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Pasadena firefighters work to mitigate a swarm of some 30-40,000 bees discovered in a hive near Pasadena City College on Thursday. (Courtesy of Pasadena Fire Dept.)

A swarm of as many as 40,000 angry Africanized bees sent five people to the hospital earlier today and shut down traffic on a Pasadena street for hours.

It all started when firefighters responded to call about a person with a bee sting at Colorado Boulevard and South Bonnie Avenue. They discovered a large hive at a hotel on that block.

One of the firefighters sustained multiple bee stings -- believed to be about 17 stings -- while treating the first patient.

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Lisa Derderian, a spokeswoman for the city, says a second firefighter was stung as bees swarmed out of control:

"Right away we called the police department to assist us with shutting down a large area of Colorado Boulevard, which included Pasadena City College. So there were a lot of students in that area, and we wanted to ensure that we got pedestrians and vehicles off the street."

File photo shows an Africanized bee (AP)
In all, two firefighters, a police officer, and two civilians were taken to the hospital.

A professional beekeeper was called to safely remove the hive -- while that work was underway the area between South Bonnie and North Sierra Bonita Avenues on Colorado was shut down to pedestrians and vehicles until abouy 7 p.m.

Derderian said late Thursday that the beekeeper was able to confirm they were dealing with Africanized bees. She said he was able to use a combination of "CO2 and some smoke to try to mitigate the bees."

But she said more work may need to be done.

"Tomorrow morning, it's the responsibilty of the hotel to follow up. The bees were found between the eaves and the roof so they may have to break into the walls."

Derderian described the bees as "very aggressive."