MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Two pet dogs are dead after an “unusual” bee attack at a McAllen residence, experts say.
On Thursday morning the city received a call about a bee attack at the 3800 block of N. 7th Ct.
Michelle Rivera, McAllen’s assistant city manager, said code enforcement had to get a warrant to go inside the vacated residence where the bee hive was suspected to be located.
The bees were identified as Africanized honey bees by Devon Johnston from R9 Hive & Honey who was asked to help with the bee removal after learning that two dogs and some people were attacked Wednesday.
Johnston said a common misconception about Africanized honey bees is that they are aggressive. However, just like any other honey bee, Africanized bees only become defensive when they feel threatened, Johnston said.
“Typically Africanized bees have a memory of three days,” Johnston said. “So when they get disturbed by someone using a lawn mower or some loud noise they are going to be on high alert for three days.”
With a three-day memory span, her theory behind the attack is that someone aggravated the Africanized bees prior to the attack and ran off near the dogs, who then became the target of the stings.
She described the attack as highly unusual because bees do not typically go out of their way to attack. Ultimately, the dogs that were attacked were in a fenced patio on the opposite side of an adjoining duplex.
“The [dog’s owner] took me into the residence where the dogs were and there were hundreds of dead bees in the patio,” Johnston said. “He had sliding glass doors and there were muddy paw prints and even a little bit of blood from where the dogs were desperately trying to get into the house.”
Upon inspection of the vacant home, Johnston found an active hive inside that someone attempted to be covered up with fresh foam.
Johnston said the home owner would not cooperate and allow them to go inside, so they were forced to get a warrant to enter the home and remove the bees.
In an effort to prevent tragedies like this from happening again, Johnston encourages all residents to be proactive and call an expert.
“Don’t try to fix it yourself,” she said. “The Africanized bees down here they’re not necessarily bad bees but they do take experience to handle and if you don’t have the experience or knowledge they can be dangerous and unfortunately fatal.”