After receiving a report of a single bee sting, a group of firefighters and police officers were attacked by a swarm of nearly 40,000 bees. CNN reports that the Hampton Inn in Pasadena, California, had become occupied by the insects. Five individuals have been hospitalized due to the incident, including three of the first responders.
"I've been with the fire department 18 years now and responded to several bee incidents," explained Lisa Derderian of the Pasadena Fire Department. "But never to this magnitude. The bees were very aggressive. Somebody could have had an allergic reaction and it could have been serious and or fatal." A beekeeper that arrived at the scene estimated there were somewhere between 30,000 and 40,000 Africanized bees on the scene.
Seven people were stung by the pees, but two of them did not need to go to the hospital for their injuries. The first firefighter who arrived was stung a total of 17 times, which led to the discovery there were bees across the entire block. The hive was removed from the roof of the four-story Hampton Inn, and the bees were sprayed with carbon dioxide and foam extinguishers. Due to the removal of the hive, the bees left the area by the time the sun went down, though some were also killed.