Gause resident survives ‘killer’ bee attack Saturday

Photo/TAMU Extension, Dallas Photo/TAMU Extension, Dallas A 47-year-old Gause man mowing his yard Saturday afternoon survived an attack by Africanized Bees.

Sue Taylor, member of the Gause Volunteer Fire Department, said Mike Barber still had about 50 bees in his hair when volunteers responded to his home, CR 352 and Plum Street.

She said Barber had been stung more than 100 times.

Volunteers, noting signs of shock, wrapped him in a blanket and he was transported by ambulance to Richards Memorial Hospital where he was admitted for observation.

Barber had washed off the bees. He was not believed to have been allergic to bee stings.

Beekeeper Darrell Lister was called to the scene by sheriff’s deputies but investigators were unable to find the underground hive.

Bee safety tips

Here are a few safety tips from Lister: “Bees get aggressive because of three factors, color, odor and vibration,” he said. “Most attacks have one or more of these factors involved.”

“They like dark colors, not bright ones.

“Sweat is the main odor that seems to set them off,” Lister said. “Amazingly, perfume and cologne don’t do it. More men are stung than women.”

“As for vibration, you wouldn’t believe how many bee attacks begin with a lawn mower, weed eater, something like that. You’ve often got all three factors at once, vibration, sweat and dark-colored clothing.”


What if you get attacked?

“If you can get into an enclosed space, like your car, do it,” beekeeper Darrell Lister said. “Shut the door. That will give you a chance to deal with a set number of bees.”

“Don’t jump in a tank or a lake!” he said. “They’ll wait for you and you’ll breath them in when you come up for air.”

“If you’re at home, run and jump in the shower, clothes and all and soap yourself up good, starting with your hair,” he said.

“And the best first aid is meat tenderizer,” Lister said. “I carry two bottles all the time.”

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