A brave Brazilian lost consciousness after suffering 400 bee stings as he fought to protect his son from the swarm.
The attack, which took place in the city of Sinop, Mato Grosso, began when a hive burst open after being thrown to the ground by strong winds.
Horrified dad Elias Araujo Monteiro saw the insects first attack the family’s pet dogs and then his son when the 14-year-old tried to save them.
Shocking video footage of the man’s rescue attempt shows him surrounded by a cloud of bees desperately trying to swat them away. The only protection Elias appears to have is a blanket as he pulls it over his head in a vain bit to keep the bees away.
The truck driver can be seen staggering into the street, close to passing out, as the footage ends.
A second clip shows stricken Elias after he had reportedly passed out for the third time as he lies on the pavement amid hundreds of bees.
Firefighters desperately tried to drive the swarm away with huge canisters of bug repellent. They had to keep spraying themselves to keep the agitated insects at bay.
The rescuers even started a fire near the head of Elias, hoping that the smoke would pacify the swarm.
The footage shows how paramedics are finally lifting the unconscious man on a trolly. He is wheeled away to a waiting ambulance to rush him to a hospital.
Elias said later: “I managed to drag the hive to the street because I thought they would go away, but they didn’t. That’s when I started asking for help at the neighbour’s house and, when I woke up for the third time, I said, now it’s gone, and I left everything in the hands of God.”
Medics were able to discharge Elias and his son later on. The teenager, whose name has not been revealed by Brazilian news websites, had also suffered several stings.
The authorities subsequently attempted to remove all bees from the area.
If a great number of bees target individuals, they most likely feel under threat, according to experts. Anyone under attack by a swarm is advised to run in a straight line and seek shelter in a building.
Erika Thompson is a swarm removal expert at Texas Beeworks.
Erika, whose ‘Texas Bee Lady’ Instagram account has more than 1.4 million followers, told the Washington Post: “Bees and other bugs are running out of safe spaces to live and work, so as humans encroach on their environment, these interactions between species are naturally going to increase.”
When bees sting humans, the insects push a barbed stinger, which contains proteins that affect the immune system, into the skin.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommended: “The first thing to do is to get the stinger out quickly. The longer the stinger stays in the skin, the more venom it releases, adding to the person’s pain and swelling.”
The institution added: “Apply a cold pack to reduce swelling. However, if the swelling moves to other parts of your body, such as your face or neck, go to the emergency room immediately, as you might be having an allergic reaction. Other signs of an allergic reaction include difficulty breathing, nausea, hives, or dizziness.”