NW side man and his dog recovering after bee attack

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A northwest side man and his dog are recovering after a bee attack.

The incident happened late Monday morning in the 3500 block of West Amber Terrace.

That's near Thornydale and Orange Grove.

The victim's stepdaughter, Hailey Hostetler, was inside the house when she heard screaming in the backyard.

"All of a sudden we heard yelling and he comes running into the house like calling me for help and I didn't know what was going on. And he's just covered in bees. So I turn on the shower. So he jumps in and I call 911," Hostetler says.

Northwest Fire District responded to the 911 call and found Mike Vallery, in his late 40's, still trying to get the bees off his body.

Northwest Fire's Captain Adam Goldberg says the shower was a good idea.

"That's good to knock them off. If you've got a little bit of soap, shampoo,that surfactant that gets onto the bees-- that essentially we use in our firefighting foam to kill them--even better," Goldberg says.

He says jumping into a pool is not a good idea because you would have to stay underwater to keep the bees off.

Goldberg says the best thing to do is to get to shelter as fast as you can, away from the bees that are chasing you.

The family dog was stung multiple times, mostly on the face and ears.

Vallery suffered several stings.

"He was probably stung about, I would say, 30 times. a lot on the head and back and waist, hip area. And the dog was stung a few times and It looks likes they're both going to be okay," says Vallery's girlfriend, Suzanne Shepard.

The bees had built a hive behind an outdoor fireplace in the backyard of the home.

Vallery had been mowing the lawn, wearing only shorts and flip- flops, when he was attacked.

Firefighters say the sound and vibration of a lawn mower can send killer bees on the attack.

Plus, they say Vallery was mowing under some flowering plants where bees were.

Firefighters say Vallery did not want to be taken to the hospital to be checked out.

Goldberg says Northwest Fire told him to watch for symptoms and call 911 if he begins to have labored breathing, hives and/or swelling of the tongue and throat.

Goldberg says every bee attack these days is believed to be a killer bee attack.

"It is certainly late in the season for a swarm and an attack like this, but as you know, a lot of rains bring these late blooms. And these bees are still present so they're looking for that pollen. So it tells us to still be very cautious when we're outside, keeping our eyes open and keeping our ears open, potentially hearing a buzz," Goldberg says.

The family says they're going to hire a professional to get rid of the hive.

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