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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
July 3, 2010
Bee Swarm Attacks Alameda Co. Fairgoers

Nearly 100 people were stung by bees at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton on Friday night after a hive was apparently disturbed during a fireworks display, a fire department spokeswoman said.

The fireworks show started around 9:15 p.m., and by 9:30 p.m., fair patrons who had been sitting in a grandstand began showing up at a first aid station with bee stings, Alameda County Fire Department spokeswoman Aisha Knowles said.

Alameda County firefighters treated close to 100 people, some with multiple stings, Knowles said. The victims ranged from a 6-month-old infant to a 60-year-old adult.

No one had an allergic reaction to the stings and no one needed to be taken to a hospital.

Knowles said there were around 5,000 people sitting in the grandstand for the fireworks show.

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office and the Alameda County Fire Department prepares for the possibility of an incident with multiple casualties, and the first aid station was capable of tending to everyone who needed medical attention for bee stings, Knowles said.

Authorities have not determined where the bees originated from or if they belonged to an exhibit.

if 100 persons were stung while in grandstand observing fireworks, one would think that atleast a few would have been seriously attacked not merely a few stings as they would have been closer to where the colony was and attarted a bit more attention--alos one would have thought if the person sitting next to you was being eaten alive by bees or whatever--that you might think about leaving the area you and anyone else nearby noticing this--and someone being mobbed be irate bees if that was what they were--hundreds of people would have noticed the screaming and vacated the area and they would know with certianity what the problem was, where it was and what to do about it.
Barry
 

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i agree with you on the mass chaos this should have started but didnt. I wonder if it was actually bees or some other stining insect. I like the part of they didnt know if it was an exhibit. I would think the officials running the thing would know if there was any exhibits with bees involved. And if there was I cant imagine the person with the bees letting them leave the hive while on display. Sounds like the attack of the killer bees when you first start reading the article.
 

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Sounds more like it may have been numerous wasp nests on the undersides of the bleacher seats. Otherwise, it shouldn't be hard to find the hive.
 

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one would think a bee sting would leave the sign of a stinger.... most wasp (at least all the one's I know here) would not.

some time small swarms or nest of bees are not that easy to spot.
 

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Well, the first thought that comes to mind when stung is "bee".

Yesterday while I was walking through the barn I was nailed on my back between the shoulders. I thought, "that can't be one of my girls", but my first thought was "bees". I was intent on doing something with some nucs and went about my business.

On the return trip I saw the yellow jacket nest on a rafter. RIP little yellow jackets.

Walt
 

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I was just suggesting Iddee that even if no nest was spotted some clue might remain to give someone some cause to point towards the guilty party.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If I remember my biology correctly, most wasps tend to be atleast partially active by night/ evening bees tend to stayed clusted at night--may indeed crawl around but wasps will readily take flight in the dark. Also one would think with several hundred crawling honeybees in the bleachers you as a bystander would take notice. wasps tend to be rather disorganized in thier attack modes, and very much individuals, though you may be stung several times, the wasps were not attacking a a group but several individual attacks. Honeybees are more coordinated in thier response with individuals starting the initial attack but rapidly recruiting others. Even many wasp nests under the bleachers can be readily found if one bothers to look.
Barry
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
found a small followup to this article they found a yellowjacket nest near the bleacher area now that makes sense
ALAMEDA COUNTY FAIRJuly 04, 2010|By Erin Allday and Will Kane, Chronicle Staff Writers


About 100 people were stung by yellow jackets at the Alameda County Fair on Friday night when the popular fireworks display apparently disturbed a nest and sent a swarm into the grandstands, according to the county Fire Department.

No one suffered a serious allergic reaction to the stings, said Alameda County Fire Department spokeswoman Aisha Knowles. Several people were stung multiple times, and victims ranged in age from a 6-month-old baby to an adult older than 60.

The wasp attacks began shortly after the fireworks show started at 9:15 p.m. About 5,000 people were in the grandstands, and 15 minutes later sting victims started showing up in the first aid area, Knowles said.
 
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