HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. (WDKY) — A Kentucky man has died after he was swarmed by bees earlier this week.
The 59-year-old man, who hasn’t been identified, was taken to an emergency room in Harlan, Kentucky, Monday night following a “tragic accident.”
According to the Harlan County Coroner, the man was moving an old bag of potting soil from his porch when he was stung by a swarm of bees that had been inside the bag.
The man’s family began taking lifesaving measures until first responders arrived, but they weren’t able to resuscitate him.
He was pronounced dead at the emergency room at 5:50 p.m. on Monday.
The Harlan County Coroner’s Office is still investigating the incident, but Deputy Coroner John W. Jones tells NBC the man’s cause of death was respiratory failure due to the bee stings. He is believed to have been stung as many as 20 times.
Jones added that the man had underlying health issues as well.
Between 2011 and 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 788 deaths from hornet, wasp, and bee stings were reported.
In March, a Texas man died after being stung by honeybees. He had reportedly been mowing his lawn when he disturbed two large beehives. The man and his wife were hospitalized after being stung dozens of times. He later died in the hospital.
A massive swarm of bees closed roads and injured multiple people in the Los Angeles area in May. At least one person was hospitalized.
If you’re stung by any of the above bugs and experience any severe symptoms — hives, breathing problems, tightness in the chest, coughing, dizziness, fainting, nausea, vomiting, flushed or pale skin, or sweating — Mayo Clinic recommends calling 911.