Killer Bees Attack California Rider, Horses

A California equestrian was attacked by a swarm of aggressive Africanized honeybees--also known as "killer bees"--while riding on a public trail in Rolling Hills, Calif., last week., The Daily Breeze reported.

Jacquie Ball was riding one horse and ponying a yearling on the Upper Si's Canyon Trail when the bees attacked. According to the report, she released the yearling, jumped off her horse, and ran up the trail. She sustained stings on her back.

"I never saw a hive or a colony or a swarm, or anything that was a warning," Ball told The Daily Breeze. "I just got hit in the face, hard and fast.

"With all these years of riding on trails, I've been through honeybees. This is way out of the ordinary," she said.

Health authorities investigated the report and removed a hive from an old water meter. No further information on the status of the horses was available.

Steve Thoenes, PhD, a Tucson-based entomologist, told The Horse that horses are, "very attractive and vulnerable targets. Horses should never be stabled or corralled near honeybee colonies."

He said most horse deaths caused by honeybees can be attributed to suffocation.

"When a horse is subjected to multiple bee stings around, and in, the nose, the area swells and cuts off a horse's breathing," he explained.

Read more about horses and Africanized honeybees.


Want more odd horse news? Check out our Weird News Blog.

About the Author

Erin Ryder

Erin Ryder is a former news editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care. She owns a portly gray gelding named Duncan and dabbles in several equestrian disciplines, with an emphasis on dressage.

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