Swarms of honeybees, apparently angered when their hives fell off a beekeeper's truck, attacked dozens of people at an apartment complex today. At least 30 persons were stung and 27 went to area hospitals.
The bees stung two persons more than 100 times each. One was engulfed by a swarm, and residents of the 1,000-unit Countryside Apartments threw buckets and bowls of water on him to drive the bees away.
Police and rescue workers went through the complex shortly after the attack started about 10:30 a.m., when the truck hit a speed bump. Residents were warned to stay inside with windows shut and air conditioning off.
By late afternoon a beekeeper had attracted many of the bees into a new hive with a queen bee. Clusters of the insects were on cars or the ground, and rescue workers said the remaining bees might not survive an expected chill tonight. The hive was to be picked up Saturday morning.
Mark Schoenwise, 20, was treated and released from a hospital in Berlin, N.J., where a spokesman said doctors reported he had received between 100 and 150 bee stings. Jerald Maddow, 26, was listed in stable condition at a Stratford, N.J., hospital with more than 100 stings.
Dr. Frank Levin, who treated Maddow, said the amount of bee poison in his body could have been lethal to a person more sensitive to it.
Maddow said he was sitting in a parked truck when a large green truck passed. Swarming on the rear of the green truck were "thousands of bees" that suddenly began to fly toward him, he said.
"The window on my truck wouldn't go up," he said. "So instead of getting stung in there, I went out and they started to come at me. I couldn't see. I tried rolling on the ground. I tried standing still. Then I started yelling for help."