CERES (CBS13) — A swarm of bees killed a dog and injured two men in Ceres on Sunday.
A man was harvesting honey from his beehive when he was attacked and stung numerous times on the 2700 block of River Valley Circle.
Residents in the neighborhood were surprised when they got a knock on the door from firefighters warning them to shelter in place.
“Basically what we said is, there are a lot of bees around your house, please close all your doors and windows,” Battalion Chief Richard Scola said.
That came after a 911 call around 5 p.m. on Sunday with reports of a man with multiple bee stings. The man was harvesting honey from a hive when something went wrong.
“We’re estimating about anywhere from 3,500 to 5,000 bees exited the hive when he harvested honey,” Scola said.
One of the firefighters was stung during the call.
A neighbor was also stung, as well as two of his dogs. One of the dogs did not survive, while the other was rushed to a vet. The dogs weighed between 80 and 100 pounds. For perspective, the average weight of a labrador retriever tops out at 80 pounds.
Neighbors sheltered in place for five hours and a bee specialist was called to help.
“Once it was dark enough, the specialist was able to terminate the hive using a chemical agent,” Scola said.
The bees were Italian black honeybees that aren’t known for their aggressive behavior. The bee specialist told firefighters he’s getting more calls about aggressive bees exhibiting the same kind of behavior around the region.
The owner of the bees could be cited, since beekeeping is not allowed within the city limits.