Four Hospitalized After Bee Swarm

Four people were taken for medical treatment after a bee swarm was reported near a high school in La Mesa, according to fire officials.

"There were bees flying eveywhere, just going crazy, and people were yelling and screaming," said Shea Riley, who lives nearby.

The incident took place near the campus of Helix High School, according to the Heartland Fire District. At least four people were stung at about 4 p.m.

A 79-year-old woman was stung between 30 and 50 times. She was transported to Grossmont Hospital in moderate condition and is expected to survive. Her husband was also transported. He is 82 and was stung 20 times. The hive was in the attic of their next door neighbor's house.

A mother and son were also stung about five times each. They were taken to the hospital, as well.

A bee removal specialist on the scene said they were africanized bees. "They're a lot more territorial, and they're a lot more aggressive," said Mike Zito.

Zito says it appears the bees were moving, and started attacking anyone in their path.  He says it's the beginning of bee season, and this was his sixth call of the day.   "Well, it's Springtime, and basically, what's happening is the bees are looking for places to start up their hives."

More people were stung after the inital incident, including a two photojournalists sent to cover the story. Those two people have not been hospitalized.

First responders shut down the 7500 block of Normal Street after the incident while they helped a bee specialist use fire extinguishers to get rid of the bees.

Zito says someone will now have to cut open the roof and remove the hive so the bees don't come back.

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