On July 11, 2017, at approximately 1:00 p.m., Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to the 17000 block of S Date Creek Road, between the communities of Hillside and Congress, regarding an adult male suffering from numerous bee sting injuries. Medical personnel were already and on scene and indicated the man had died.
The deceased was still covered in bees which required fire fighters to spray a foam agent over the area to kill/disperse the bees and render it safe to recover his body. Bee keepers also arrived to assist.
The property owner told deputies the man was doing road clearing work for her with a backhoe when the attack apparently occurred. She had gone into the house to avoid the heat after speaking with him and realized about 45 minutes later, she could not hear the backhoe operating. When she went outside to check on him, he was lying on the ground next to the back hoe and not moving. As she approached him, bees began swarming around her so she immediately retreated to the house and called 911.
The man’s body was eventually released to the custody of the Yavapai County Medical Examiner and is pending an autopsy to determine cause of death.
The initial investigation indicates the back hoe work may have disturbed a hive, causing the bees to swarm and attack the operator. The victim’s name will be released after verification that family members have been notified.