Dozens stung by swarm of ‘angry’ African honey bees
(KTLA) -- Dozens of students were hospitalized after being stung by bees at Palmdale High School on Tuesday afternoon.
A swarm of bees was reported to dispatch at 12:09 p.m., Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Richard Licon said. Firefighters arrived about 10 minutes later, and sheriff's deputies were on scene.
The bees were later identified as African honey bees by beekeeper Steven Melton, who was called to the scene to address the situation.
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Fire Inspector Joey Marron said the number of patients transported from the scene rose from an initial three to 43 as students continued to emerge from the school and say they had been stung.
Marron later said 56 patients were transported and another 38 refused transport. None of the students were seriously injured.
One student described a chaotic scene.
"We were all at lunch and we were just sitting and then one guy got stung in his face. From there, more bees just started popping out and stinging more people," student Henry Mancillas said. "Everybody was just panicking."
Students went running, swinging their arms at the bees, he said.
"But the bees were following them because they were, like, angry," Mancillas said.
A pupil in one of his classes was stung several times. Students were sent to the gym for about an hour, he said.
Senior Viviana Ramos, who said bees were trapped in her own hair, reported seeing a boy crying with his shirt off and body covered in stings.
Marron told the Daily News that the students "angered" bees that had built a nest in a classroom over the summer.
A firefighter could be seen spraying outside an entrance to the high school, at 2137 E. Ave. R, just before 1 p.m., aerial video from Sky5 showed.
Students were posting about the bee incident on social media, many of them making jokes.
Fall semesters classes started last week for Antelope Valley Union High School District students.
KTLA's Jennifer Thang contributed to this article.