Swarm of Angry Bees Hospitalizes Mother and Her Two Children in Arizona

A swarm of angry bees attacked a mother and her two children after they ventured too close to their hive, with all three needing to be hospitalized.

The insects stung the woman, boy and girl, at a home in a residential area near 23rd Avenue and Rose Garden Lane in north Phoenix, The Arizona Republic newspaper reported citing Phoenix Fire Department spokesperson Captain Scott Douglas.

Firefighters were called to the scene at around 11:15 a.m. following a report that bees had emerged from behind a shed near the back of the property, and attacked three people.

Crew members wearing protective clothing rescued the family by spraying the bees with foam so the woman and her children could escape.

Douglas said the family were in a stable condition when they were taken to hospital to be checked over and given further treatment.

The family members were not named. It was unclear whether they were at their home at time of the attack, and if it was unprovoked. The nature of their injuries was also unclear, as well as what species the bees were.

An image of the scene shot by the Arizona Family news helicopter showed two people in white protective suits in the back yard of the property. Foam could be seen covering the area surrounding the shed.

This is not the first time a bee attack has made headlines in Arizona this year. In May a swarm of bees killed three dogs in Tucson, prompting fire department officials to warn residents to avoid the area. The fire department described the bees as "aggressive" on Twitter, writing: "We never enjoy killing precious bees, but in these rare cases it is necessary."

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A stock image shows a swarm of bees. A woman and two of her children were attacked by bees in Phoenix, Arizona on Monday. Getty

As was the case in Monday's incident in Phoenix, firefighters were called to the scene to foam the bees.

At the time, Tucson Fire Department told the public to always be mindful of their animals, "but particularly when there are bees on your property."

The type of bee was also unclear in this case. However, the cases appear to have the hallmarks of Africanized bee attacks. In recent decades, colonies of Africanized bees have been on the rise in the U.S., and can be found in Southwestern states such as Arizona.

Compared to their European counterparts, they are more defensive and likely to swarm and sting people or animals without being provoked, and can protect nests from up to 100 yards away. Such behaviors mirror those of the bees involved in the attacks in Phoenix and Tucson.

Africanized bees commonly have open, exposed nests, which they build in cavities such as animal holes in the ground. Bee attacks can be prevented by avoiding occupied nests, such as the one behind the shed in Phoenix. These can be identified by the insects flying near the entrance. Checking trees, logs, or trash for bees before moving them is also recommended.

If you are attacked, try to get indoors as quickly as possible, and do not try to hide under water or in a bush. Do not swat the insects as this may anger them.