A puppy died after a killer bee attack on the east side Tuesday morning. 9-month-old pit bull terrier, Hazel, was stung to death.
"She was running in circles, but there wasn't really anything I could do because I'm telling you, there were a lot of bees. I mean, a lot of bees," said Hazel's owner, Carlos Medina.
Thousands, in fact, from a huge hive that was hidden underneath a wooden shed in the backyard of an Eastside apartment complex.
Chris Moreno, of Arizona Pest Control, said, "When it's that big -- it's been there for awhile." A few years, tenants told KGUN9. Jerry Estavillo said he noticed bees flying around, but not in swarms. He increasingly became concerned and finally decided to call the landlord.
He said when the landlord lifted the shed, "A big nest came down. It was bigger than what I thought it was going to be." Estivillo and the landlord ran inside the apartment.
Just over the fence, the killer bees sped toward Hazel, who was in the adjoining backyard. With no way out, her entire body was quickly covered as she first jumped on the sliding glass door trying to get into the house and then ran around in circles.
Terrified of being stung too, Medina covered himself from head to toe, then ran out to get his puppy. He said Hazel was struggling breathing -- the bees got into her mouth. She was also limping. "We rushed over to the animal clinic. And she stopped breathing and they tried to resuscitate her," said Medina.
Hazel died just an hour after the attack.
Firefighters worked fast and removed half the hive. Arizona Pest Control took care of the rest. This year, they say, the bee season has come early. "I've done about 10 bee call this season in the last two weeks already -- they're active everywhere," said Moreno.
Bee experts warn -- don't try to get rid of bee hives yourself. If you do see a swarm of bees -- watch where they're headed to determine the location of the hive and then call a professional.