Man dies after being attacked by ‘very aggressive’ swarm of bees at his home in Texas


A swarm of bees attacked and killed a man at his Texas home on Monday.

Thomas Hicks, 70, was doing yardwork when the ‘aggressive’ bees swarmed him, severely stinging the man.

The bee sting sent his body into cardiac arrest, ultimately killing Thomas, while his wife Zoni was stung multiple times.

She had to be removed from the house wearing firefighting gear to protect her body and was hospitalized.

The attack took place at a home near Hubbard Creek Lake in Stephens County, Texas, with the Breckenridge Fire Department dispatched to the scene. 

Thomas Hicks (right, with wife) was killed after going into cardiac arrest after he was stung

The Breckenridge Fire Department helped destroy a hive in the yard of the Texas home

The Breckenridge Fire Department helped destroy a hive in the yard of the Texas home

Pictured: Multiple layers of comb laid out by the fire personnel and a beekeeper

Pictured: Multiple layers of comb laid out by the fire personnel and a beekeeper

Thomas was mowing his lawn in the afternoon, which may have been the noise that triggered the bee swarm. 

Zoni went to go grocery shopping prior to the bee attack. 

‘I said honey please don’t go back in the back area, because those bees are back there, and he said “I won’t, I promise,”‘ Zoni told BigCountryHomepage.

When she returned home, she quickly discovered that her husband was jumping around and screaming, covered in bees.

‘I mean you couldn’t even see his back and his whole head he was just covered in killer bees,’ Zoni said.

She placed the call to 911 and performed CPR on her husband before emergency personnel responded.

Zoni, Thomas' wife (left, with Thomas in an old photo), needed to be hospitalized following multiple stings

Zoni, Thomas’ wife (left, with Thomas in an old photo), needed to be hospitalized following multiple stings

When the firefighters arrived along with sheriff’s deputies and other medical personnel, they were ‘met with very aggressive bee activity,’ according to a Facebook post from the Breckenridge Fire Department.

One person had already been severely stung by the time emergency responders arrived, going into cardiac arrest.

Medics and firefighters were forced to fight through a swarm of bees when entering the home to reach the victim.

One firefighter, meanwhile, took off their gear and put it on the woman in the house to protect her from the bees. She was ultimately removed and taken to a friend’s house.

She was then transported to a hospital for her injuries. She was able to return home the following morning.

Local beekeeper Joey Venekamp (pictured) helped to remove the beehive from the tree

Local beekeeper Joey Venekamp (pictured) helped to remove the beehive from the tree

Pictured: The tree that housed the hive needed to be split to reveal the size of it

Pictured: The tree that housed the hive needed to be split to reveal the size of it

After the individuals were removed from the scene, deputies and firefighters went door-to-door asking neighbors not to use noisy equipment outside until the bees were removed.

Joey Venekamp, a local beekeeper, then offered his expertise to find and remediate the hive.

‘Once one of them stings it’s going to let off a pheromone and that’s like a red flag to the other ones…best thing to do is take cover,’ Venekamp said to BigCountryHomepage afterwards.  

Venekamp discovered a beehive in a tree that contained approximately 60,000 honeybees, which had been there for three years, according to KTXS.

‘This particular hive yesterday had about it had about 4 or 5 queen cells in there,’ Venekamp added to BigCountryHomepage. 

Venekamp was able to locate the hive the help of a firefighter and remove them from the scene, using hand tools and foam.

Honeybee stings can be life-threatening to those allergic to their venom.



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