2 firefighters, 3 others hospitalized after freak bee attack

Firefighters said they had never seen so many bees in one location

Jaclyn Cosgrove
Los Angeles Times

PASADENA, Calif. — A swarm of bees near Pasadena City College sent five people to the hospital and shut down Colorado Boulevard on Thursday afternoon.

About 4 p.m., firefighters responded to a call of a person who was stung by a bee near Colorado Boulevard and North Sierra Bonita Avenue.

Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said first responders saw a "huge influx of bees" about a block long buzzing around both sides of the street.

"We have firefighters who have been working here for many, many years, and they said this is by far the most bees they've seen at one location," Derderian said.

The hive was living on the exterior of the top floor of the Howard Johnson hotel on Colorado Boulevard. But the honeymoon period apparently ended Thursday afternoon.

Thus far, the bees have stung six people, sending two firefighters, one police officer and two civilians to the hospital. One civilian declined transport.

Authorities have shut down Colorado Boulevard near Pasadena City College, along with multiple nearby streets, and are asking drivers to avoid the area. Students, faculty and staff at Pasadena City College are urged to stay indoors.

A professional beekeeper is assisting firefighters, who have a ladder truck extended to the hive's location. The plan is to safely remove the bees.

The colony's queen could not be reached for comment.


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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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