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Elderly Calif. woman attacked by 80,000 killer bees, expected to survive

Africanized “killer” bees, similar to the one pictured, attacked an elderly woman in California on Monday, stinging her more than 1,000 times.

A 71-year-old woman from California is recovering in the hospital this week after a massive swarm of killer bees, thought to number 80,000, attacked her and stung her over 1,000 times.

The African bees also turned on five firemen who came to the woman’s rescue, as well as a group of concerned neighbors who were witnessing the events, shares ABC News on Saturday.

The unnamed woman, who was visiting a friend in Palm Desert, Calif., was completely covered with the hybrid insects, known as Africanized honey bees – colloquially named “killer bees” because of their aggressive pursuit and attack methods when threatened.

“When the first engine company arrived, they described an elderly woman completely covered head to toe in bees, as if she was wearing a suit of bees,” Cal-Fire Battalion Chief Mark Williams said. “They were even pulling stings out of her mouth.”

The bees were disturbed by a Verizon employee who came to check on a report of bees interfering with an underground fiber-optic cable box.

“Somebody procrastinated and didn't take care of it the right way,” said Lance Davis, owner of Killer Bee Live Removal, who was called on to remove the hive. “These are bee proof boxes – the lid weighs 40 pounds. Whoever serviced the box prior, didn't put on the lid properly.”

Davis, a veteran beekeeper, removed the bees free of charge and relocated them to a controlled hive.

“We do these jobs all the time, where someone has gotten the bees all excited,” he said. “Sometimes it doesn’t take much to get these guys angry.”

A brief video of Davis and the hive was posted on YouTube.

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