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May 2, 2013 9:40 PM by John Patrick

Bee attacks send three people to the hospital

TUCSON - Two different bee attacks sting several people, sending three to the hospital on Thursday.

The second bee attack was in the Tanque Verde and Wilmot area of Tucson's east side. The Tucson Fire Department responded to a call of a woman who was walking past the Golf n' Stuff when she was suddenly swarmed with bees.

Tucson Fire says she was covered from head to toe in bees when they arrived and estimate that she had more than 200 stings. Paramedics were able to get her to the hospital in less than ten minutes and she is currently in stable condition.

Foot traffic was diverted in the area while a bee specialist was called to mitigate the hive.

This comes on the heels of an earlier attack that sent two others to the hospital Thursday morning.

A bee specialist was working to remove a hive that had been growing inside a northwest Tucson resident's wall for nearly three years. The 200 pound hive was suddenly sent into a frenzy attacking neighbors that were outside at the time.

John Dresbach is new to the northwest side and was welcomed by the swarm of bees on his morning walk.

"They got me maybe twenty times on this side of my face, some on my back and my arms. I even had a stinger in my mouth," explains Dresbach.

Dresbach and at least three others got off lucky with minor stings. However, two others in the area were so badly attacked that they were rushed to the hospital for treatment.

Greg Denker, with American Bee Control, has been removing bees for over forty years and says this particular colony was the most aggressive he has ever dealt with. This year's bee season is as busy as ever not only with aggressive hives but large ones as well.

"The bees are growing like crazy, in fact, every hive I've seen has been larger than expected for this time in the season," says Denker.

Denker believes that this year's bee population is thriving and that the season for aggressive bees may last through the month of July.

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