03/17/2013 12:46 pm ET Updated Mar 19, 2013

Bees Kill Family Dog After Neighbor Cut Down Tree, Triggering Swarm (VIDEO)

A swarm of bees attacked and killed a North Hollywood, Calif., family's dog after a neighbor cut down a tree that housed a hive Saturday.

According to KTLA, the man fled down the street, but Babe, the 5-year-old pitbull, could not get away in time. Neighbors said that small children were playing in nearby yards at the time, but no one was hurt.

“We’ve all got kids and dogs,” one neighbor told the station. “Luckily they didn’t hurt any kids, but it’s terrible they hurt a dog.”

Los Angeles firefighters responded and sprayed foam on the bees to kill them, but the threat will remain until what remains of the tree is removed. It's yet unclear whether the insects were honey bees or the more aggressive, Africanized variety.

There have been several bee attacks on dogs in Southern California in recent years, many of them due to so-called "killer," or Africanized bees.

A killer bee attack last year killed three of four dogs owned by an Altadena, Calif. family. In that case, the bees had made a hive inside the family's house in a wall cavity near the water heater.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which tracks the spread of Africanized honey bees, the aggressive variety of bee swarms much more frequently than European honey bees.

While European honey bees swarm about once every 12 months, Africanized honey bees may swarm "as often as every six weeks and can produce a couple of separate swarms each time," increasing chances of contact with humans.



Animals In The News