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2 Brownsville Men Dead After Bee Attacks

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BROWNSVILLE – Two men were killed this month as a result of Africanized bee attacks in the Rio Grande Valley.

Cameron County Justice of the Peace Jonathan Garcia said both men where mowing their lawns in Brownsville when the attacks happened.

“They were stung hundreds of times on their bodies and as a result of the multiple stings then they had a reaction to it and lost their lives. It was very tragic," he explained.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS learned what you can do to protect yourself from aggressive bees.

Rolando Matus started his landscaping business five years ago. He said he's out mowing lawns in the hot sun multiple times a week.  Lately, he's been a little worried about one thing.

"(I’ve) been seeing a lot of bees. More bees than usual," he said.

We reached out to beekeeper Jimmy Lawrence to find out what may have triggered the bees. He explained many times lawn mowers can upset a hive of bees. 

"Obviously the sound, the sound is very loud. It's got a lot of vibration, so if you go up to a bee hive with a lot of noise and you don't have any smoke or bee keeping equipment to calm them down, they are going to go into full defense," he said.

Lawrence said the Africanized bees are more aggressive because typically their hives have larger amounts of bees than their European counterparts.

With more bees and less honey to go around, he said the bees are always on the defensive.

He explained if you find yourself the victim of a bee attack, there is only one thing to do.

"I say you run and cover your mouth and nose as much as you can while you’re running, because the bees are attracted to the carbon monoxide we release," he advised.

Lawrence said bees will only chase a person for approximately 50 to 100 yards. He told CHANNEL 5 NEWS acting quickly can be the difference between life and death.

He recommended if you find a hive on your property you should have it removed by a professional beekeeper immediately.

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