September 19, 1996 in Nation/World

Elderly Man Survives Hundreds Of Bee Stings

Associated Press

An 85-year-old man is lucky to be alive after being stung up to 300 times by a swarm of what were probably “killer bees,” an entomologist said Wednesday.

“He’s still queasy and a bit disoriented,” said Mike English of New Mexico State University. “It’s amazing. With that many stings, a man of that many years could be in trouble. Anybody could be in trouble with that many stings.”

The man, who was not identified, was driving a front-end loader Tuesday near this southern New Mexico town when he bumped some old tires the bees were using as a nest.

The man erroneously became still, believing the bees would lose interest in him.

“Many people believe if you just stand quiet they won’t bother you,” English said. “That’s absolutely not true. You should leave, run if you can. Get to a house. Get inside a truck. Get away as quickly as you can.”

Tests were being done to determine if the bees were of the Africanized variety, but English was almost sure they were.

Africanized bees look like European bees and are much more aggressive, attack with less provocation and in greater numbers.

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