Miami resident was renovating house for daughter’s arrival
A Miami man was found dead in his house with his body surrounded by about 60,000 swarming bees, authorities said Sunday.
The 49-year-old man had been renovating a house that has been in his family for years, said Miami Fire Rescue spokesman Ignatius Carroll, Jr.
“We believe that he found a bee infestation in the walls and tried to exterminate them himself using store-bought foggers,” said Carroll.
On Saturday, his daughter and wife came to the house and couldn’t find him. Assuming he was out, they stayed on the ground floor and prepared dinner, a Miami Fire Rescue spokesman said. Later, they checked upstairs to see if he was sleeping and noticed a lot of bees in one of the rooms. Initially, they closed the room to prevent the bees from getting out, but later checked again and saw him lying on the floor, not responding and apparently having fallen from a chair.
“When police officers arrived, they could hear a humming noise, like the walls were alive,” Miami Police Cmdr. Delrish Moss told the Miami Herald. “Although we are awaiting the autopsy, and right now the death is considered unclassified, the fall likely had more to do with his death than anything to do with the bees.”
An autopsy proving the cause of the man’s death has not yet been performed, police said.
“His heart was there, but the effort was too much for him, especially on a limited budget,” brother Tim Mason told the Herald. “But he loved this home.”
A bee control expert was called in to remove the insects and advise authorities if special suits were needed. The expert said there were about 60,000 bees, the Herald reported.
Information on Bees
Looking for information on bees in Florida? You have found the right place on the web! Stinging Florida bugs such as bees can not only be very irritating, but also very dangerous to those who are allergic to them.
Honey bees can produce a painful sting and usually do so in defense or if one of their nests has been disturbed. Unlike wasps, hornets, or the increasingly problematic Africanized Honey bee, honey bees are not easily provoked.
Bees will die after they sting, leaving their stinger and venom sacs attached, which continue to release venom until the sac is emptied or the stinger is removed.
A beehive functions as a miniature society; they contain three specialized groups or castes. The castes consist of workers, drones and queens, and each has their own specialized function. There is only one queen per hive, which is the largest bee, and her main function is laying eggs. A hive may contain as many as 40,000 worker bees, which are all sterile females, and tend to be the smallest. The males, or drones, can number up to 2,000, and make up the remainder of the hive.
The queen lays her eggs in a cell in a wax honeycomb, produced and shaped by the workers, which hatch into larvae. The worker bees feed pollen and honey to the newborn larva, which undergo several moltings before spinning a cocoon within the cell and pupating. After 16-24 days a full-grown bee emerges from the cell.
Besides nurturing and feeding the larvae, young worker bees also make wax, build the honeycomb, and clean and guard the hive. They also collect the nectar and pollen, which they store in “pollen baskets”, or corbicula, that grow on their hind legs for this purpose. After this, they begin building comb cells. They progress to other within-colony tasks as they become older, such as receiving nectar and pollen from foragers. Eventually a worker will leave the hive and typically spend the remainder of its life as a forager. Workers tend to have short life spans, usually several weeks, but a queen can live for several years.
Most bee species have historically been cultivated for honey and beeswax by humans; of the two species that have been domesticated, the honey bes has been used for its natural resources since the time of the building of the Egyptian pyramids. Worker bees cooperate to find food and incorporate a pattern of ‘dancing’ (known as the bee dance or waggle dance) to communicate with each other; this dance varies from species to species, but all living species of this unique Florida bug exhibit some form of this behavior.
Honeybees are primarily floral visitors, and pollinate a large variety of plants. Bees are basically the most important pollinators of native plants in Florida. Other insects such as butterflies, moths, beetles, as well as birds, contribute to plant pollination as well, ensuring the reproductive success of native plants. Of all the honey bee species, the aforementioned Apis mellifera has been used extensively for commercial pollination of crops and other plants; the value of these pollination services is commonly measured in the billions of dollars.
Do you live in Florida and have a bee problem in or near your home or business? Hulett Environmental Services offers custom designed pest control treatments to control and prevent these pests!