Las Vegas Man Recovering After Killer Bee Attack

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A 53-year-old man remained hospitalized Sunday,a day after being stung "a couple thousand times" in what authorities are calling the worst bee attack around Las Vegas in 20 years.

The man accidentally disturbed a nest of Africanized honey bees, also known as "killer bees," when he overturned a boulder while operating a backhoe, Clark County Fire Department spokesman Scott Allison said Sunday.

He was listed in stable condition Sunday in the intensive care unit at St. Rose Dominican Hospital-Siena campus.

Hospital spokeswoman Kim Haley said the man was stung a couple thousand times, and it was uncertain how long he would have to remain hospitalized.

His name hasn't been released.

The man was stung on his face, arms, neck and back, Allison said, and firefighters sprayed bees off him with a hose.

"There were so many that they couldn't see the skin on his back when they got to him," he told The Associated Press. "They said it was a black mass of bees on his back continuing to sting him.

"One of the vector control guys with the county said it was the biggest hive he had ever seen. He guessed it weighed about 50 pounds," he added.

While not native to the U.S., killer bees are well established in southern Nevada.

In 2000, a 77-year-old Las Vegas woman was stung about 500 times
and survived. In 2003, a horse in Pahrump was killed after being attacked.

"I've been on the department for 20 years and don't remember an attack this bad," Allison said. "(Responders) told me it was like something out of a horror movie."

Experts urge people under attack to run as fast as possible, saying it's possible to outrun bees if one can run fast and far enough.

They also urge people not to jump in swimming pools, saying bees can see people and wait for them there.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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