A 53-year-old Ceres man who was keeping a backyard bee hive suffered numerous bee stings when they attacked him Sunday evening and then stung and killed two dogs.
The bee attack occurred at approximately 5:28 p.m. in the 2700 block of River Valley Circle.
The owner was wearing protective equipment when he was handling the box containing approximately 4,000 bees when the swarm became agitated and became aggressive. A 9-1-1 call was placed and police and fire arrived. The man had sustained numerous bee stings. He was rushed to a local hospital to receive medical treatment and was later released.
The angry swarm flew into the neighboring yard where they stung two large dogs. The dogs' owner rushed outside to help his animals and also sustained several bee stings. Both dogs were taken to a local veterinarian but one died from the trauma.
Alfredo Lopez, a professional beekeeper, was summoned to the scene by the Ceres Fire Department who decided it best to wait until dusk to remove the hive. Police officers canvassed the neighborhood advising occupants of about 45 homes to remain inside until the danger had passed. The beekeeper determined that the bees were unsafe even after the sun set and the hive was euthanized with a pesticide in the interest of public safety. The bee hive was later removed by the professional bee keeper.
Police said there are no plans to charge the owner of the bees with any crime.
The Stanislaus County Agricultural Commissioner's Office is investigating to determine if the swarm contained any Africanized bees, a breed that tends to be more aggressive. It is believed the bees first arrived in California in 1994.