Bee attack sends South Tampa man to hospital

Thomas O'Berry says he is lucky he didn't die.  He was outside while someone working on his lawn disturbed a bee hive.
The bees swarmed and went after him.  Thomas says he felt bees striking his head and he remembers pulling one out of his ear.
Then, as fast as it happened, his throat started to swell.  He couldn't breathe.  He told the guy working on his lawn, "call 911."  And then he passed out. 
The bee attack sent him into anaphylactic shock and into the hospital for six days, the first two in a coma.
The next thing he remembers is waking up in the hospital, and being told he was very lucky the day he was attacked wasn't his last day.  
Back home, Thomas now rarely goes outside.  Not with all the bees still there. 
So he decided they had to go.
Thomas contacted Insect IQ and All Florida Bee Removal.  Jason Deeringer came out today to take a look. 
As he worked his way through the colony, cutting it open and pulling it out, he told me the colony was most likely Africanized honey bees, very aggressive.
He said it's not what you want in a residential neighborhood. 
"If this colony is set off by something, a squirrel, someone mowing the lawn, or a bird lands right there," he explained, "they are going to go crazy.  Anyone walking on that sidewalk over the next 30 minutes or so is at risk."
So up his ladder he went to clear it out. Cutting it open and reaching inside he quickly discovered that it not only ran down the soffits but right into the attic. A colony of 50,000 to 90,000 bees.
Jason must now remove all of the honeycomb.  If any is left, even if these bees are removed, another colony might come back and take up residence. 
He expect the removal to take two days.
As for Thomas, that's one more day he plans to spend in the house.
Print this article Back to Top