A Sweetwater man was attacked on Thursday afternoon by a swarm of honey bees, according to his daughter.
Johnny Cassady, 78, was at a friend's house on Thursday afternoon about 4 p.m. on the 1400 block of James Street. "He was in his friend's back yard in her shed, when he moved a box that happened to be housing a honey bee nest, said Cassady's daughter, Janet Patty. "The bees just swarmed him."
"My dad said that he tried to swat the bees off with his hat. Then he fell to the ground and started rolling around, but they just kept singing," said Patty.
Help came to Cassady when a nearby neighbor who was outside heard Cassady yelling for help. She and her husband went over to the yard and saw the swarm of bees attacking Cassady and called 9-1-1.
Cassady was taken to Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital where over 200 stingers were removed from all over his body, but mainly from his face. "They also gave him some medication to counteract the bee stings," said Patty. "He did not have a reaction from the bee stings, except for the swelling in his face. He was given antibiotics and was released from the hospital. He is doing well, he's just very weak."
According to the United State Department of Agriculture, if stung by a honey bee, the first thing one should do is remove the stinger. The end of a sting is barbed and will remain stuck in the skin even if the bee is removed. Muscles in the stinger allow it to continue pumping venom into the victim, even if it is no longer connected to the bee, for up to a minute or until the stinger is removed. The sooner the stinger is removed, the less venom will enter the wound. Honey bees are able to sting only once and eventually die after they have released their stinger.
Do not pull the stinger out with your fingers or tweezers because this will squeeze out more venom. Instead, scrape the stinger out with your fingernail, the edge of a credit card, a dull knife blade, or other straight edged object.