Swarm of bees attacks people in downtown Huntington Beach

Witnesses estimated that 20 people were stung by an aggressive mass of bees that menaced passers-by in downtown Huntington Beach on Saturday. One person was hospitalized, the Fire Department said.

The Fire Department responded at about noon to reports of hundreds of agitated bees in an alleyway between Sixth and Seventh streets near Pacific Coast Highway.

“There was nothing to instigate it,” department spokesman Eric Blaska said. “It was just another normal day down at the beach.”

The incident prompted a three-engine response to the infested block. Authorities cordoned off the alley and alerted people on Twitter to steer clear of the area because of “aggressive bee behavior.”

Firefighters sprayed foam at the bees in an attempt to disperse them.

Huntington Beach public works employees were called to the scene and someone in protective gear entered the alley to investigate but was “unable to locate a hive or swarm,” Blaska said.

“It was just hundreds of bees acting aggressively,” he said.

Three people sought treatment in connection with the incident, and one was taken to a hospital. The person’s condition was unclear.

The attack evoked one in June 2017 in which a Huntington Beach woman was hospitalized after being stung by a swarm of bees at Harriet M. Wieder Regional Park.