Two dogs have died after being targeted by a swarm of bees in the United States, it has emerged.
The incident occurred in the city of McAllen, southern Texas, according to Brownsville-based television station KVEO-TV.
The local authorities have been urged by the owner of the pets – which were kept on a fenced patio – to take action.
Dawn Johnson and her daughter Devin co-manage R9 Hive & Honey, a local bee removal and monitoring service.
Devon – who has been assigned by city officials to investigate the incident – told KVEO-TV: “The dog owner took me into the residence where the dogs were and there were hundreds of dead bees in the patio.
“He had sliding glass doors and there were muddy paw prints and even a little bit of blood from where the dogs were desperately trying to get into the house.”
Devin reportedly determined the insects as Africanised honeybees. Occasionally called ‘killer bees’, the insects are a hybrid of different bee species.
Like many other animals, they usually only act in an aggressive way when feeling threatened.
City authorities had to obtain a warrant after the owner of the property where the hive had been located did not want to let them in.
Devin and the McAllen officials discovered an active hive covered up with fresh foam, according to several American broadcasters.
Devin eventually removed the hive. It has not been announced whether the homeowner faces any charges regarding the occurrences.
Meanwhile, a 71-year-old man died after being attacked by a swarm of Africanised bees as he was surveying land in La Ceiba, Honduras.
It is unclear whether Victor Manuel Rodriguez – who died at a hospital – suffered from any allergies.
His nephew and co-worker Marco Antonio Zuniga said: “My uncle didn’t notice them. He was unable to escape. We couldn’t do anything to save him. My uncle had stings all over his body.”
Emily Osterloff creates content for the website of the Natural History Museum in London, United Kingdom.
In an article on Africanised bees, Emily explained: “Their demeanour has earned them the terrifying nickname of ‘killer bees’, but relatively few deaths are caused in proportion to the number of colonies.”