Brewster County Officials Responding to More Bee Calls

ALPINE, TX (KWES) - Exactly one week ago, an Alpine referee was attacked by a swarm of bees. He ended up losing his life.

Brewster County Officials say they're responding to more calls of bee swarms. Bee experts say the culprit is all of the recent rains.

On July 7, Alpine Referee, Roger Kinzie, was on a bulldozer between Alpine and Marathon, when he was attacked by a swarm of bees.

"These particular bees appeared to be some Africanized bees because they were very aggressive. They followed him clean away from the bulldozer he was working on," said Brewster County Sheriff Ronny Dodson.

Kinzie passed away from his injuries.

"It was so bad, the deputy said the victim's face, ears and nose were already stung and the inside of his mouth and his whole torso," said Dodson.

Brewster County Sheriff Ronny Dodson tells NewsWest 9 that in 2014, they responded to a low number of bee calls. This year is different.

"This year, we're quadrupled on the calls," said Dodson.

Bee experts say the recent rains help produce more flowers, which brings in more bees. Most bee swarms are seen between May and September because more plants are produced.

Sheriff Dodson says he carries a bee suit in his vehicle in case of emergencies, like helping deputies remove a bee hive from a residence.

"We never do anything in the daytime. We always call a professional exterminator or something like that. If in the middle of the night, if need be, we come out, put on our bee suit and soap the bees," said Dodson.

Remember, bees don't like dark colors. If you're stung, don't pull out the stinger. Instead, remove it sideways using a blade or a credit card to keep the extra venom out.

Bee experts also want to remind everyone to always be aware if your environment.

In case you're taking a hiking or camping trip this summer in the Big Bend, officials say to carry an EpiPen or liquid Benadryl just in case you come across some bees.