Man, 81, stung by more than 200 bees in 3-hour attack

Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 2:43 AM CDT
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MAYSVILLE, Okla. (KOKH) - An 81-year-old Oklahoma man is recovering after he was attacked by hundreds of bees and broke his hip trying to get away from the aggressive swarm.

It was a normal Friday morning for 81-year-old Carl Amos as he mowed his front yard while home alone, but then, he was attacked by a few bees. He got off his riding mower and walked toward the porch to get a can of bug spray.

“It was only a few bees, and he thought that would take care of them,” said Carl’s wife, Barbara Amos.

But by the time he got there, the 81-year-old was fully engulfed by the bees and had to run away. In his panic to escape, he tripped and fell, breaking his right hip, his wife says.

“Then, he really was in trouble because more bees were coming and stinging, and he couldn’t see and couldn’t move because of his broken hip,” Barbara Amos said.

The bees attacked every part of Carl Amos’ uncovered skin around his head and neck and continued to sting him on his face, inside his nose and ears and even through his eyelids.

The 81-year-old was on the ground for three hours until his wife says a group of construction workers from a business behind their home spotted him in the yard. He had been waving his knee to attract attention.

The workers rushed to Carl Amos’ aid and called 911. First responders sprayed water on the bees to stop the attack.

Barbara Amos was returning from out of town when paramedics arrived.

“To see your husband on the ground with all these people around and bees. It was very disturbing. They really saved his life, and we are so eternally grateful for them,” she said.

Carl Amos was treated with Benadryl and taken to the hospital, where he underwent surgery Saturday morning to repair his hip. Doctors were still finding and removing bee stingers during the surgery.

The 81-year-old is now in stable condition and expected to make a full recovery. It’s estimated he was stung more than 200 times.

“I guess if you say a person has grit, he has grit. Once he determines to do something, he does it, and he has extreme faith in God, of course,” Barbara Amos said.

Beekeepers removed the hive Tuesday.

“He’s really a tough guy… You have to be really tough to withstand that many stings,” beekeeper Gary Selman said.

Family members say the bees are suspected to be Africanized killer bees, based on the size of the swarm and the aggressive, unrelenting nature of the attack.

“We heard about these bees and how aggressive they were… We thought maybe those are bees we don’t want to keep. We need to eliminate those kind of bees,” beekeeper Terry Selman said.

Carl Amos has a long road to recovery. His wife says he is expected to spend a few weeks in rehabilitation due to his broken hip.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the couple with expenses.