CONCORD (AP) — A California neighborhood overtaken by a swarm of aggressive bees suspected of killing two dogs and stinging several people is considerably safer after the insects didn’t make it back to their cluster, a bee expert said Sunday.
Norman Lott of the Mount Diablo Bee Keepers Association said he was called to the Concord neighborhood after an amateur beekeeper got rid of a hive after being attacked, leaving a swarm of possibly Africanized bees flying around, the East Bay Times reported.
“Very few bees were left flying around that didn’t make it back to the cluster (Saturday) night,” Lott said. “I don’t anticipate going out there.”
The bees are suspected of killing two small dachshunds. They also stung a bee keeper, a child, a postal worker, news reporters and Lott.
Concord police Capt. Chris Blakely said the problem was first reported Friday when Arthur Janke, an amateur beekeeper, went to check on his backyard hives and bees attacked him. He got rid of the hive, leaving a lot of agitated bees in the area. He later went to the hospital with minor injuries from bee stings.
“The real tragedy was Friday,” Janke told the San Francisco Chronicle. “The bees would be all over people. They’d be in your hair.”
Lott said the bees are possibly swarms of Africanized honeybees, a subspecies known as killer bees that migrated north from South America. Lott collected sample DNA from some of the bees that may prove his hunch.
Police barred pedestrians from walking near the home Friday and Saturday, but streets remained opened in the area. Police warned residents of one and two-story houses with manicured lawns to be cautions and people driving through the neighborhood to keep their windows up.