A 20-year-old Ohio man nearly died last week after he was swarmed by African killer bees and stung thousands of times while on a ladder trimming branches from a tree.
Austin Bellamy was trimming a lemon tree in Ripley, Ohio when he cut into a nest of African killer bees. The swarm was so bad that he was stung around 20,000 times and swallowed 30 bees.
Just one sting from an African killer bee can cause pain and itching. According to the USDA, a person can survive ten bee stings per pound of body weight. On average an adult should be able to endure around one thousand stings.
According to the local Fox channel, WXIX, Bellamy’s grandmother and uncle witnessed the bees surrounding him while he was standing on a ladder. His grandmother told WXIX that she attempted to climb the ladder to help, but he was swarmed by bees.
Bellamy was rescued by a firefighter and rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center where he was placed in a medically-induced coma. The ingested bees were then removed.
His mother, Shawna Carter, told WXIX that Austin looked as though his head was covered by a black blanket.
Doctors believe that Bellamy will eventually make a full recovery.
African killer bee venom is more dangerous than the venom of regular honey bees. Being stung more than a dozen times will cause a person to experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Bellamy’s mother credits the firefighter for saving her son’s life, describing him as “Austin’s angel.”