A housekeeper from California is in critical condition after she was attacked by a swarm of Africanized Bees. The woman, identified only as Maria, was returning to her car to get a mop when a swarm of between 30,000 and 80,000 bees suddenly attacked her.
“She was screaming and I was telling her, ‘Move from the bees. Come over here,’” the homeowner told ABC 7.
One of the other housekeepers grabbed a hose and started spraying her, hoping it would disperse the swarm of angry bees, while the homeowner's son called 911.
Orange County Fire Authority Captain Tony Bommarito told NBC Los Angeles that when paramedics arrived "she was literally covered from head to toe" by the bees. Firefighters used carbon dioxide spray to get rid of the bees so paramedics could begin treatment. Despite their efforts, the bees would not leave Maria alone, and she still had bees on her body when she arrived at the emergency room.
“There were still bees attached to her,” Bommarito explained. “Bees were in the ambulance en route to the hospital, and bees that went into the emergency room with her.”
Because they did not have time to put on protective gear, four firefighters were stung, as was the owner of the house while trying to help Maria. Two of the firefighters required hospitalization but were listed in stable condition. Maria is listed in critical condition, but she is expected to survive.
A bee company found a ten-pound nest in a gas meter on the property and estimated it had been there for about six months.