Rodney Pugh, David Zeledon Attacked By Africanized 'Killer' Bees In Florida

It's all fun and games, until someone winds up covered in bees.

Rodney Pugh and David Zeledon, employees at Picnic Island Park in Port Tampa, Fla., were using a front-end loader to remove debris near the park entrance, WFLA reported. When they overturned an old truck tire, as many as 100,000 bees swarmed out, surrounding the vehicle.

"It was like bees all in the cab," Pugh, 41, told ABC Action News. "So I'm trying to swat, and they say never to swat bees."

The men fled the front-end loader and ran from the bees, but each suffered almost 100 stings before they were able to get away.

Jason Deeringer of Insect I-Q told WFLA that the bees are most likely "Africanized" bees -- colloquially called "killer bees" -- which are much more aggressive than other types of honey bees.

"[Africanized bees] have a horrible attitude. Highly defensive," Deeringer told the station.

Jonathan Simkins, who was called to exterminate the flying insects, told ABC that the bees had probably arrived in Florida on a port ship coming from Africa or South America.

Simkins noted that the pile of debris had not been moved in three years, meaning that, most likely, "this colony's been breeding and sending out colonies" that now live elsewhere in the area.

Pugh and Zeledon are expected to fully recover. Not all victims of Africanized bees are so lucky. In 2011, an elderly couple in Texas was stung to death when they disturbed a hive while cleaning out their hunting cabin.



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