Bee attack in Florida kills one dog and leaves other badly injured

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A stray, male pitbull was attacked by a swarm of bees and died as a result. Courtesy: FOX 13 St Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG, Fl. – An enormous swarm of bees attacked two stray pit bulls in Florida, killing one and critically injuring the other.

The bees, which were residing in the attic of a home belonging to an elderly couple, likely attacked when the dogs started barking at them. Both dogs were stung more than a hundred times. The male pit bull died, the female was in critical condition.

“The stingers were on the top of her head.. down her ears, across her muzzle,” Kelly Charleston, VAC Noah’s Place Animal Med Center told FOX 13 on Thursday.

When exterminators entered the attic, they discovered between 80,000 to 100,000 bees and estimated from the size of the swarm, that the hive had been there for about ten years.

The elderly couple said they rarely went over to the side of the house where the hive was found.

The exterminator contracted by the county used a chemical that officials said wouldn’t kill the bees, but would instead force them out of the attic to find another place to live.

“Overnight they’re not going to be moving around and in the morning they’ll go naturally and find a place to stay,” said Sgt. Brian Taylor, St. Petersburg Police. “We’ve been told it’s completely safe,” he told FOX 13.

Some neighbors wished for more reassurance that they would really be gone for good.

“We don’t know when they’re going, where they’re going,” said Jania Talbert, a neighbor.

When FOX 13 asked if she’d rather see them killed, she replied:  “Just kill ’em and take them with ’em.”

Click here to see portions of the huge hive and hear one exterminator’s concern that the hive was not disposed of properly, fearing the problems may not be over for the couple and their neighbors.

Although the swarm was speculated to be of the Africanized or ‘killer’ bee variety, a sample of the type of bee which attacked the two dogs was not obtained.

It is said that European honey bees and Africanized bees are very difficult to tell apart visually, and that the main telltale difference is in the way they protect their hives.

When an outside intruder threatens a hive, about five to 10 honey bees will attack within a 20 foot radius, while hundreds of the Africanized bees will defend their hive for up to 40 yards.

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