Are the killer bees meaner than ever in 2011? The Killer Bee Guy thinks so.
They're much more ornery this year, according to Reed Booth, also know as The Killer Bee Guy. "This is the worst I've seen in 10 years," Booth told CNN affiliate KOLD-TV
in Tucson this week.
Booth spoke after taking out a 200-pound hive of a quarter-million killer bees
on a Bisbee farm earlier this week. The bees had swarmed after their hive in an outbuilding on the farm was disturbed. They killed a 1,000-pound hog and and sent a pregnant 800-pound sow into a coma.
The piglets were lost, KOLD reported.
"A thousand-pound pig is a huge thing," Booth said. "I'm kinda surprised that they did kill it."
Farmer Jane Hewitt said the attack was frightening.
"I jumped into a car but the passenger side window was down, and they came in a black cloud towards me. I tried to swat at them and get them out the drivers side window," she told KOLD.
The Bisbee hive was one of two massive hives Booth has tackled within a week. On Tuesday, Booth removed a hive of 200,000 bees
from an abandoned home in Palominas, according to a report on willcoxrangenews.com.
That hive contained some of the most aggressive bees he's ever seen, according to the report.
"This was, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst, this was definitely a nine," Booth said. "You could smell the venom. There were so many bees around our masks, we could barely see.
CNN affiliate KNXV-TV in Phoenix reported
that a man in Wilhoit, Arizona, died after a bee attack last week. Two other men were injured.
Hives of 100 pounds or more have been removed from residences in the Phoenix area, too, CNN affiliate KPHO-TV reports.
"This year we've had more large hives than we've ever had," said Kevin Hodgson, of The Beekeeper, an extermination service in the Phoenix area. "Consistently these hives are bigger than they've been in recent years," Hodgson told KPHO.
Booth won't dispute that.
"It's been a record year for big, mean hives," willcoxrangenews.com quotes Booth as saying.
Meanwhile in California, bees attacked four people Thursday in Santa Ana junk yard
, sending all four to the hospital
, according to a report from CNN affiliate KCBS-TV
One of the men, who was in a wheelchair when the hive was disturbed, was stung 64 times
. Three other men were stung as they pulled him away from the swarm, according to the report.