30,000 bees escape in Wal-Mart parking lot, sting several people
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) -- Several people are recovering in the hospital after thousands of bees swarmed an area Walmart.
"What we think we understand is that there was a transaction occurring between two individual bee keepers," Colin Roy, EMSA field operations supervisor, said.
That transaction took place in the parking lot of the Walmart Neighborhood Market off Sooner Road.
"In that transaction in the movement of the bees from one vehicle to another they were disturbed. That's what caused the bees to escape," Roy said.
It wasn't just a few bees.
"The bee keeper that we spoke to on the scene said that each hive can have up to 22,000 bees and at the time there were three hives she counted and she said they were about half full at that time," Roy said. "So, anywhere from 30,000 plus bees."
Roy says several people were stung. Three people were transported to the hospital, two in serious condition.
Paramedics and the fire department rushed to the scene, putting themselves in harm's way with the bees still buzzing around the area.
"At one time me and several of the fire fighters were batting down bees as we were moving about," Roy said.
Roy says large swarm attacks like this aren't as common. Most bee attacks only involve one or two bees.
"A swarm attack like this where there are multiple stings to a single patient, those are a little bit more concerning because then the swelling can actually start to affect your eyesight, your throat, your breathing," Roy said.
They were able to contain some of the bees. EMSA officials say they removed the truck the bees came in because they say it would have attracted them back to the area.