Desert residents shaken by ‘killer bee’ attack on 71-year-old woman

A 71-year-old woman stung about 1,000 times by “killer bees” in Palm Desert was recovering in the hospital, officials said.

Five firefighters and a few neighbors also got stung before the dangerous hive could be removed in Thursday night’s attack, officials said.

People who live in the community where the incident occurred are still shaken up by the attack by Africanized honey bees, also known as “killer bees.”

“Hopefully they are gone for good,” resident Galye Clark told KESQ-TV.


She said this was not the first time bees have found their way to the Palm Desert neighborhood.

“We used to have a fountain in our front courtyard and every year the bees would return two or three times and build a hive inside the fountain,” Clark said, “and my husband would get rid of the bees and they kept returning.”

Resident Renee Loewen said her backyard butts up to the gated community where the bees attacked.

“I really didn’t know what was going on because I was in the kitchen, but my husband was out barbecuing,” she said. “He heard noises and sirens and he didn’t know what was going on.”

On the next street over, the bees stung the 71-year-old woman, who was visiting from out of state, the TV station reported.

“She seemed to be stable yet she seemed to be in pain,” said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Mark Williams. “Her husband was overly appreciative. He was willing to donate right there immediately on the spot to the fire department.”

Riverside County Sheriff’s department sent out a reverse 911 call to warn people in the area to stay inside.

“Just hope it doesn’t happen again,” Loewen said.