Stung and stunned: Couple describes bee attack - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Stung and stunned: Couple describes bee attack

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LEMON GROVE, Calif. (CBS 8) - An elderly couple is recovering from a bee attack. News 8 talked to the couple about how they managed to escape with their lives.

It was a beautiful, sunny day, perfect for yard work -- until Africanized bees attacked Jimmy Elliot.

"I could hear him yelling and cursing," wife Toni said.

Toni ran and tried to cover him up with a sheet, but the bees turned on her too.

"It's like somebody jabbing you with a needle or pins," Toni said.

Nine years ago the Elliots installed a bird box in their backyard and filled it with friendly harvester bees to help pollenate their fruit trees.

"They pollenate everything. They were good; they never bothered us at all," Toni said.

The Elliots suspect angry Africanized bees chased the nice ones away.

"These bigger bees, they are like little devils," Toni said.

Toni thinks the bees were irritated by a neighbor working at his house making a lot of noise. Thank goodness the firefighters came to their rescue.

"They put towels over our head and took us outside and brought us up the ambulance," Toni said.

Both Toni and Jimmy went to the hospital. Toni was stung eight times, and Jimmy was stung 34 times.

"They seem to go for your face and head first," Toni said.

A day after the attack, they're still discovering stingers in his body.

The Elliots say their amateur beekeeping days are over, and their only advice for other bee attack victims is to run.

"Try to cover your face and head, because that is where they seem to go, that is where they first attack," Toni said.

Because Jimmy suffers from a medical condition, it's a good thing he went to the hospital.

Experts say if you're stung more than 15 times or feeling ill, call 911 or get to the hospital. If you are stung, do not pull stingers out with tweezers or your fingers -- that will only squeeze more venom into the wound. Instead, scrape the stinger out sideways using your fingernail or the edge of a credit card.

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