A man stung as many as 500 times from head to toe by a swarm of bees in Encinitas has died, San Diego County health officials said.
Marco Lazaro, 54, was operating a backhoe at Manchester Ave. and Pacific Ranch Dr. at about 11 a.m. Wednesday when he disturbed the hive.
Experts say up to 80,000 bees were unleashed. Lazaro ran about 200 yards to an outhouse in an attempt to escape.
It was too late.
By the time paramedics arrived, the diabetic man had been stung hundreds of times and was in full cardiac arrest. He was transported to Scripps Encinitas where he was pronounced dead.
The victim's 20-year-old nephew was stung twice, but was expected to be okay.
Longtime neighbor Dan Moriarty has known Lazaro and his family for over 30 years.
"It was accident, a terrible accident," he said, "I was next door when it happened. He's a very, very nice fellow. Hard working guy."
Bill Tanksley from Pinpoint Pest Control believes they were Africanized bees. Sometimes called killer bees, they attack quickly and sting in larger numbers than their European honeybee cousins.