800,000 Nightmarish "Killer Bees" Swarmed & Killed An Arizona Man Out Of The Blue

It's straight out of my worst nightmares, or a scene from a really terrible apocalypse movie: on Wednesday, a swarm of 800,000 Africanized bees killed a man doing landscaping work, after they angrily escaped the attic of a 90-year-old homeowner in Douglas, Arizona. They'd been gathering there for years and years, maybe even a decade, before they decided to attack the landscaper and his coworkers. What could possibly have set them off? Apparently, they'd been disturbed by sound of the lawnmower.

The men were doing some standard gardening for a 90-year-old homeowner; they'd been weeding and had just turned on the equipment to begin mowing the grass when the horror happened: hundreds of thousands of killer buzzers suddenly descended upon them. The jaw-droppingly large swarm of bees attacked five men in total, sending two to the hospital, one of whom died of a heart attack. “A witness said his face and neck were covered with bees,” Capt. Ray Luzania from the Douglas Fire Department told Carmen Duarte of Tucson.com.

According to the Washington Post, the other man who was injured and sent to the hospital got stung over 100 times — though he survived. Said Douglas Fire Chief Mario Novoa to the Douglas Dispatch:

Upon arrival, our units found five patients on scene that had been stung by bees.Two patients were critical and were taken by ambulance to Cochise Regional Hospital. Two patients declined transport and one patient drove herself to the hospital.

The hive that these bees had settled in was over a decade old, an exterminator told USA Today. And wait til you hear the size of this thing — it was 4 feet wide and 6 feet long, probably taller than you. (No word on if the 90-year-old knew the bees were in there this whole time.) In order to get the monstrosity out of there, firefighters were brought in to fight the swarm using pesticides and foam.

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If it makes you feel any better, this wasn't your run-of-the-mill honeybee. It was the Africanized bee, otherwise known as the "killer" bee, which is known for its aggression and its propensity to form large (deadly) swarms. Making this whole story even more sci-fi? These bees' existence can be entirely blamed on science — back in 1956, Brazilian scientists, who were trying to breed a better kind of bee, imported some African honey bees.

But — dun dun duuun — some of these bees escaped, and began to breed with the local Brazilian bees. Over the last decade, these vicious, killer hybrids have been crossing into North America and terrorizing unsuspecting American citizens.

Images: Getty Images (2)