A Texas man was stung to death by about 40,000 killer bees a day after his 62nd birthday when his tractor ran into a hive, KCEN-TV reported on Sunday.
Relatives of Larry Goodwin told the station he was consolidating a neighbor’s brush pile on Saturday when the tractor hit a pile of wood that contained the hive, which had about 22 honeycombs. The neighbor’s wife and daughter tried to help Goodwin but they were also attacked by the bees, and were stung about 100 times between them.
The station reported that Goodwin was stung so much, there was no exposed skin that did not bear the marks of the attack. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to the Waco Tribune-Herald, Allen Miller, who owns a local bee-extermination business, found another 100 bees in a bucket after destroying the first hive, which was hidden inside a discarded chicken coop.
“You can’t believe how bad they are,” Miller said to the newspaper. “They make me want to get out of this business. They can get up under your clothes where no other insect can go. In a hive of ordinary European bees, about 10 percent will attack if the hive is threatened, but with African bees, all of them attack you.”
Miller told the Tribune-Herald the hive on Goodwin’s neighbor’s property was the sixth he had cleared out in McClaren County this year.
Watch KCEN’s report on Goodwin’s fatal encounter with the hive, aired Sunday, below.