Man stung multiple times after disturbing bee hive while mowing grass

Steve Nash
Early Fire Chief Chad Hill stands next to a lawn more in a yard in the 500 block of Garmon Drive Thursday morning in Early. Ronnie McCune was mowing grass with the lawn mower when he was swarmed by bees and stung multiple times.

EARLY — Ronnie McCune managed to walk around and talk about what had just happened to him Thursday morning, though he was in clear discomfort after being swarmed by bees and stung multiple times.

McCune, 64, of Brownwood, was stung while mowing grass outside a residence in the 500 block of Gorman Drive in Early. McCune disturbed a hive that bees had built in a water meter, Early firefighters said.

Firefighters, police and Allegiance Ambulance personnel, as well as a beekeeper, were gathered in the yard. McCune was treated at the scene and declined to be taken to the hospital, police and firefighters said.

McCune said he and his wife, who was not stung, were doing some work on the property for the property owners.

“A bunch of bees came out,” McCune said. “They just swarmed out. I was scared. It was painful.”

McCune said he was stung on his head and face. A passing motorist stopped to help him, and his wife put water on the bees, McCune said.

Early firefighter Travis Eoff said the beekeeper, Robert Stewart — also an Early firefighter —saves the queen and moves the hive if he can. But in this case, Eoff said, it was necessary to kill the queen, and the remaining bees will die.

Early Fire Chief Chad Hill said it was necessary to destroy the queen and the hive because the bees were active and aggressive.

“Robert said we needed to get the queen,” Hill said. “We filled the hole up with foam. When they’re mean like that, you don’t have much choice but to get rid of them.”

Stewart said people should check their water meters for the presence of bees before they mow. “(Bees) love water meters,” Stewart said.