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Several children stung after Winter bee attack in Southern Highlands

Posted at 5:48 PM, Jan 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-11 21:54:48-05

It was a frantic and downright scary walk home from school for some kids who attend Frias Elementary, Wednesday.

"You could tell there was panic, from several different kids," said Diana Battista, a parent of a student at Frias Elementary.

Battista says she saw several children running and screaming as bees went on the attack.

"It was just a lot of chaos," said Battista. "In different corners, you had kids in our development that were screaming at the entrance, it was just chaos," added Battista.

Battista says up to 10 kids suffered stings. 

Contact 13 visited the area near Jones and Cactus, and the bees were buzzing around rosemary bushes. The plants bloom with purple flowers in the warm Southern Nevada weather.

The plants also line the sidewalks on both sides of Starr Hills Ave., near the school.

"That was the other concern of mine is how many of these kids would bolt into the middle of the street just out of reaction because bees were going after them?" wondered Battista.

Bee expert and owner of Hammons Honey, Josh Hammons, says rosemary bushes are a favorite for bees.

There is also a high chance the bees involved in the attack are Africanized, according to Hammons.

"About 20 percent of the Africanized bees are real aggressive, the rest are pretty much like any other bee," said Hammons.

Hammons says do not let the calendar fool you - bees can be present any time of year across Southern Nevada.

"The thing to know is that when bees are out foraging, getting food, they have no interest in dying," said Hammons. "What I mean by that is, if they sting somebody they're going to die," added Hammons.

Hammons suspects a nearby bee colony was disturbed, prompting the aggression.

Contact 13 watched as a beekeeper appeared to be working in the same area of the attack Thursday.

Battista says she is going to contact the Southern Highlands homeowners association to see if the bushes can be removed.