A cleaning lady is fighting for life after being stung ‘head to toe’ by a swarm of 80,000 bees.
Three firefighters, the homeowner and their neighbor (with her dog) who rushed to save her were also treated for stings, but far less severe.
The housekeeper, identified as Maria who is in her mid-50s, was walking to get something from her car outside the home where she works in Orange County, California, when the bees emerged from a gas meter hidden by a bush.
Her employer Sara, and Sara’s son, said they were calling at her to run away, and tried throwing water to banish the bees, but eventually called 911 as the swarm continued its attack.
In a desperate rush to save Maria, firefighters came at the bees with extinguishers before putting on protective gear, meaning a few of them were stung, too.
By the time they got her to safety, she was ‘barely conscious’, having been stung more than 200 times.
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Horrific: Maria (pictured) was stretched into an ambulance after sustaining stings all over her face that left her ‘barely conscious’
A team from Bee Busters later discovered this hive hiding inside a gas meter next to the home
Tony Bommarrito, fire captain in Orange County, told ABC the incident was one of the worst they had seen.
‘Basically, she was literally covered from head to toe,’ he said. ‘Her face was completely covered with bees.’
The vast majority of people (about 90 percent) are not allergic to bee stings.
But even so, more than 200 stings would take a toll on any of us.
The average person can withstand about six stings per pound of body weight, the so-called ‘king of sting’, entomologist Justin Schmidt, told Newsweek recently.
Maria’s employer Sara (pictured), and Sara’s son, said they were calling at her to run away, and tried throwing water to banish the bees, but eventually called 911 as the swarm continued its attack
Sara shows that she too was stung, though she was not in a critical condition like Maria
That means someone who weighs 150 pounds could sustain 900 stings. ‘At eight stings per pound of weight—that’s where you have a 50-50 chance of survival,’ Schmidt said.
However, withstanding the bee’s venom becomes more of a struggle for a person’s body if they suffer from other health issues, such as diabetes or heart disease or high blood pressure.
A bee’s venom is almost 90 percent water and the insects target fleshy skin, which contains a lot of fluid.
As such, the venom rushes quickly into the tissue, and the venomous substance melittin attacks red blood cells, making them burst.
At first, in a desperate rush to save Maria, firefighters came at the bees with extinguishers before putting on protective gear, meaning a few of them were stung, too
They sprayed the bees with carbon dioxide from an extinguisher (pictured)
That, in turn, causes a drop in blood pressure – something which can be taxing on the body of someone with blood pressure issues.
Maria is still being treated and a team from Bee Busters later discovered the hive hiding inside a gas meter next to the home. They estimate it had been there for six months.
The hive has now been removed.