Crews work to remove 50,000 bees from neighborhood - Tucson News Now

Crews work to remove 50,000 bees from neighborhood

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"The veil I was wearing was totally covered with bees. (I was) unable to see," said Greg Denker with American Bee Control. "The veil I was wearing was totally covered with bees. (I was) unable to see," said Greg Denker with American Bee Control.
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Crews are still working to remove a hive on Tucson's northwest side where at least a dozen people were reportedly stung and two were sent to the hospital. 

The initial plan was to try to save and relocate the estimated 50,000 killer bees at a home in the 5000 block of West Blackbird Drive near West Linda Vista Boulevard and North Bald Eagle Avenue.

"Before we even got a chance to open the hive, they mounted a full-scale bee attack," said Greg Denker with American Bee Control. "The veil I was wearing was totally covered with bees. (I was) unable to see."

Experts call this one of the most aggressive swarms they've ever seen. Denker says it's the worst one he's seen, and he's been working in this business since 1968.

"This particular colony, on a scale of one to five, this one is a five," Denker said. "Highly aggressive (and) perfectly willing to sting by the thousands."

This story did sting.  Our Tucson News Now photographer's arm was stung after his brave attempt to shoot the hive.

The bees went after everyone: news crews, the mailman and even firefighters. Four of them were stung today, including Capt. Adam Goldberg with the Northwest Fire District.

"It's a sharp quick buzz [and] you know you've been stung," Goldberg said.

A 62-year old woman and her son who live next door were taken to the hospital with more than 50 stings each. They are stable tonight.  The woman declined to go on camera, but told Tucson News Now, they were both allergic to bees, and were on a lot of antibiotics.

Many neighbors said they had noticed a large presence of bees in the neighborhood, and it made some of them uneasy.

"We didn't realize this hive was so close. It's insane. They're all around us right now," said Gary Bartell, who daughter was also stung by a bee while walking to the school bus stop on Thursday morning.

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