A man is dead after disturbing the hive of an estimated 40,000 “killer” bees in Moody, Texas.
62-year-old Larry Goodwin died on Saturday after his tractor ran upon a hive of the killer bees while clearing brush for a neighbor. The bees had reportedly holed up inside an abandoned chicken coop. Goodwin was able to run away and attempt to remove the swarm with a garden hose, but it was too late. He died on the scene. According to NBC news, family members said Goodwin was stung so many times that “every inch of exposed skin was covered with stings.”
During the killer bee attack, a woman and her daughter attempted to come to Goodwin’s aid – but they were stung over 100 times in the process. One of them is reportedly in serious condition.
Killer bees are the colloquial terms for Africanized honey bees, a hybrid variety of bee that results from the cross-breeding of the African honey bee and European honey bees. These Africanized bees’ stings are no more potent than your average honey bee – what makes them “killer” is their extreme aggressiveness. Killer bees are more easily provoked and when that happens, they attack in large numbers. They are also relentless and can keep attacking a victim well away from the original area of disturbance.
These bees are agitated by the vibrations of large machines and other power equipment – tractors, mowers, etc.
The bees have been cleared by local company Bees Be Gone.
“You can’t believe how bad they are. They make me want to get out of this business,” Allen Miller, owner of Bees Be Gone, told The Waco Tribune. “They can get up under your clothes where no other insect can go. In a hive of ordinary European bees, about 10 percent will attack if the hive is threatened, but with African bees, all of them attack you.”