Man stung more than 250 times in bee attack: ‘Never experienced anything like this’

A man is recovering after he was attacked and stung hundreds of times by killer bees in Arizona. (Source: Arizona's Family)
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 4:59 PM CDT
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FLORENCE, Ariz. (KPHO/Gray News) - An Arizona man says he was attacked by killer bees last week while he was out with his dog.

KPHO reports that John Fischer, 60, was sent to the hospital after hundreds of bees swarmed him and his dog while they were out in his neighborhood over the weekend.

Fischer said doctors told him he was stung by killer bees.

“I have never experienced anything like this. I had been stung many times before but nothing where it was more than 10 or 15 stings,” Fischer said.

The 60-year-old said he opened a bag containing the clothes he wore that day after the attack and at least 30 bees came out of them.

He ran over the bag in his wheelchair as an act of revenge.

According to Fischer, the attack happened when he was with his dog riding his wheelchair exercise bike that allows him to pedal with his hands after he lost one of his legs to an infection about eight years ago.

That evening, he said he thought he felt a fly and swatted it away, but it didn’t stop there.

“Next thing I know, there were bees all over me and all over the dog,” Fischer said. “I tried to get across the street, but I couldn’t see because they were going towards my eyes, and they’re all over my face.”

Fischer said he decided to release his dog from the wheelchair, but it ended up tipping over.

“I crawled my way for a period of time to try to get far away from where they were, but they just followed me,” he said.

Surveillance video from that night showed Fischer on the ground trying to use his shirt as a shield over his head against the bees.

The bees weren’t visible from the camera, but they could be seen flying near the lens.

Moments later, first responders showed up. When they approached Fischer, they ran back after the bees started to attack them.

Fire crews then hosed down Fischer while he was on the ground. He was later moved to a stretcher and hosed again before being taken to the hospital.

Fischer said he changed clothes and was given morphine before having the stingers removed.

“They said I had over 250 [stingers],” Fischer said.

First responders reportedly told him there were about 1,000 bees involved in the attack with a couple thousand found in the area.

Fischer was released from the hospital and is currently recovering with bee stings on his arms, eyes, mouth, ears, legs and back.

He said he also has scrapes on his knee and elbows from crawling on the sidewalk.

According to Fischer, his dog was stung more than 50 times and was taken to an animal hospital before being released.

“He’s sick. We’re trying to get him to drink. He is very sore and pretty lethargic,” Fischer said.

The Arizona resident said the attack could have been worse if his daughter was with him as she is allergic to bees and would’ve likely died.

He said he is grateful to the Florence Fire Department for their quick response and appreciated his neighbors who helped search for his dog.

Fischer reminded the community to be extra careful when walking outside and to be observant of nests.