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Elderly Woman Stung 1,000 Times by Bees

A honey bee in the San Fernando Valley (Photo by chrisyarzab via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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A 71-year-old woman from Palm Desert is recovering from being stung around 1,000 times by a swarm of bees.The swarm of 75,000 to 80,000 Africanized honey bees was disturbed when a Verizon employee opened an underground vault on Lucerne Drive at about 4:40 p.m. Thursday and the bees escaped, completely covering the nearby woman, according to Lance Davis, owner of Lance Davis Killer Bee Live Removal in Palm Desert. Five firefighters assisting at the scene also were hospitalized, The Press-Enterprise reported.

Davis, who removed the bees, explained the attack:

“They’re quick to anger, and they are relentless in their attack. If it takes the whole hive to protect against an intruder, or someone perceived to be an intruder, they will do it.”

Davis took the bees to his hive in Thermal and later gave them to farmers to pollinate crops. The woman, who was visiting relatives from out of state, is expected to recover.