Thomas Hicks Texas man, 70, killed in bee attack while mowing the lawn at his home at Breckenridge, Stephens County. Wife survives.
A man has died after a swarm of bees attacked and killed him while mowing the lawn at his Texas home on Monday.
Thomas Hicks, 70, was doing yard-work when the ‘aggressive’ bees swarmed him, severely stinging the man.
The bee sting sent his body into cardiac arrest, ultimately killing Thomas, while his wife Zoni was stung multiple times.
She had to be removed from the house wearing firefighting gear to protect her body before being hospitalized.
‘...he was just covered in killer bees,’
Authorities now believe the sound of Thomas mowing the lawn that afternoon triggered the hive which was discovered to be housing several queen bees and up to 60,000 honeybees.
Zoni who had gone grocery shopping prior to the bee attack had Hicks promise her he wouldn’t go out the back of the house.
‘I said honey please don’t go back in the back area, because those bees are back there, and he said “I won’t, I promise,”‘ Zoni told BigCountryHomepage.
When she returned home, she found her husband jumping around and screaming, covered in bees.
‘I mean you couldn’t even see his back and his whole head he was just covered in killer bees,’ Zoni said.
She called 911 and performed CPR on her husband before emergency personnel arrived.
Upon firefighters arriving along with sheriff’s deputies and other medical personnel, they were ‘met with very aggressive bee activity,’ according to a Facebook post from the Breckenridge Fire Department.
4 or 5 queen cells
Medics and firefighters were forced to fight through a swarm of bees when entering the home to reach Hicks. Despite responding personnel’s best efforts to save Hicks, the 70 year old man succumbed to cardiac arrest.
‘He was the love of my life,’ Zoni explained. ‘We had known each other since I was ten years old.’
Following the attack, deputies and firefighters went door-to-door asking neighbors not to use noisy equipment outside until the bees were removed.
Explained Joey Venekamp, a local beekeeper, ‘Once one of them stings it’s going to let off a pheromone and that’s like a red flag to the other ones…best thing to do is take cover.’
Venekamp discovered a beehive in a tree that contained approximately 60,000 honeybees, which had been there for three years, according to KTXS.
‘This particular hive yesterday had about it had about 4 or 5 queen cells in there,’ Venekamp added to BigCountryHomepage.
Venekamp was able to locate the hive the help of a firefighter and remove them from the scene, using hand tools and foam.
Honeybee stings can be life-threatening to those allergic to their venom.