Bees Attack Escazú Residents

August 12, 2005

A bee attack in Escazú, west of San José, caused the hospitalization of seven adults and five children Monday, the daily La Nación reported.According to the victims, the attack began when three children, ages 6-8, were playing near some trees. While one girl climbed a tree in search of guayaba fruit, a fruit slipped from her hand and hit an old tire, where the hive was located. The disturbance provoked the attack and the bees chased the children as they ran screaming, the daily reported.When they arrived at their homes, their family members attempted to help them. One relative was attacked in the process.Another person, Arnulfo León, was attacked while driving by the scene on his motorcycle. He arrived at home covered in bees, which proceeded to attack his wife and son. León, 53, was stung more than 700 times.Another man driving by the scene was stung various times. He fainted and had to be taken unconscious from his car by the Red Cross, La Nación reported. Firefighters controlled the situation, and all of the victims have been released from the hospital.Attacks by Africanized bees have already claimed two lives this year. The bees, which have been in Costa Rica since 1983, are not more venomous that other strains, but become defensive, highly excitable and sensitive to lond noises when guarding a nest.

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