An elderly man has died after being attacked by a swarm of bees.
Despite the emergency services being called, 93-year-old Paschoal Nunes died as a result of being stung multiple times in the incident that took place in Piracicaba in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo.
Paschoal was reportedly found face down on the ground in a community car park, with his body surrounded by the bees after he attempted to cut down the branch of a coconut tree where the insects had built a hive.
An unnamed man who was parking his car found the pensioner and quickly covered him with a cloth to protect him from the pollinators that were flying around him.
The motorist said: “I took a cloth and tried to throw it on him. I took shelter in the corner and called an ambulance and the police.”
Paschoal’s daughter Rosa Nunes told local media: “I tried everything but I couldn’t save my father. I got a bucket of water but I couldn’t get near him.”
She added: “When the ambulance arrived, no one could get near. All the bees were on top of him.”
The victim’s granddaughter, whose name has not been revealed, said: “Everyone was here with him in the morning. He went to cut a branch and didn’t see there was a swarm.”
The fire department was called to the scene but Paschoal was pronounced dead. His body was sent to a morgue for analysis and to confirm the exact cause of death.
A specialist company was reportedly called to the scene to remove the swarm of bees.
When bees sting humans, the insects push a barbed stinger into the skin. The stinger contains proteins that affect the immune system. Getting stung can be life-threatening to anyone allergic to these substances.
Experts say anyone under assault by a swarm should seek shelter in a building as fast as they can.
Monica King is the deputy head of the Southern Arizona Beekeepers Association. She said: “If you just notice the bees and they are just doing their thing, I would call the beekeepers. But if you’re under full attack, that’s when the fire department needs to be dispatched.”