LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Kids throwing rocks stirred up more trouble than they bargained for when they dislodged a swarm of bees from an enormous hive built in the wall of a Southern California apartment building, authorities said on Friday.
An estimated 120,000 bees held residents of the apartment building and nearby homes hostage in Santa Ana, California after the children pelted their 500 pound (227 kg) hive with rocks on Thursday, Santa Ana Fire Captain Steve Horner said.
Several people, including firefighters, news reporters and a TV cameraman, reported being stung and at least two people were taken to a hospital with multiple stings, Horner said.
Firefighters cordoned off a four-block area to allow the bees to calm down and return to their hive. An exterminator later fogged the hive and vacuumed out 40,000 dead bees, then set a trap for returning worker bees, of which about 80,000 were captured, Horner said.
The quarter-ton honeycomb, which may have accumulated inside the apartment wall for years, was so big it was threatening the structural integrity of the two-story building, Horner said.