RAMSEY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey neighborhood was on alert after a swarm of bees attacked a beekeeper, and his wife sending them to the hospital.
As CBS2’s Marc Liverman reported, the entire street was flooded with emergency responders. It all happened across the street from a playground.
“I came outside, and basically there were a lot of EMTs and police officers down there swatting themselves,” Dan Diffley said.
Emergency crews worked to get the man and his wife to the hospital after they were stung multiple times.
“We wanted to get the victims out of there as quickly as possible without getting stung ourselves,” assistant fire chief, Jonathan Krefeld said.
Later that day, the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management sent out an alert to area residents warning them to stay indoors and close all windows and garage doors.
The beekeeper and his wife didn’t have much to say to CBS2’s cameras, and it’s still unclear exactly what caused the bees to swarm and attack.
Shrini Abaraju is a beekeeper and member of the North Jersey Beekeepers Association. He said being attacked by a swarm is almost unheard of.
“It’s very rare for a cloud of bees 10 ft up in the sky, targeting one or two people, going after them,” he said.
But if it does happen, it can be very dangerous — even deadly.
“Again, unheard of, but if that were to happen, the body could react with a severe case of allergic reaction,” he said, “When you get stung by one bee, the bee venom releases chemicals into the air.”
That can attract others and cause them to sting too. So, if you are stung by a bee in a swarm, get away as fast as you can.
“If you have long nails, you want to scrape the stinger away, and put some ice or toothpaste on it,” Abaraju said.
Abaraju said the good news is that this type of bee very rarely attacks in swarms.
The Ramsey Assistant Fire Chief said several first responders were stung by the bees, but none were hospitalized.