US /

He Picked Up a Bag of Soil, Was Killed by Swarm of Bees

Authorities in Kentucky say 59-year-old was attacked on his own porch
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2023 1:00 PM CDT
Swarm of Bees Kills Kentucky Man on Porch
Stock image of honeybees. Police didn't specify the insect in the fatal swarm.   (Getty)

A cautionary tale for gardeners: Authorities in Kentucky say a swarm of bees killed a man who picked up a bag of soil on his porch, reports the Courier-Journal. Michael Alford, 59, of Dizney inadvertently disturbed a colony that had set up shop within the bag, per the Washington Post. His family administered CPR until an ambulance arrived, but Alford was pronounced dead at the hospital. It wasn't clear whether he was allergic to bees. "The male subject was moving an old bag of potting soil from his porch when he was stung by a swarm of bees from inside the bag," says the coroner's office in a Facebook post.

Police didn't specify what type of bees swarmed. Yellowjackets are known to do so, but those are technically wasps. The CDC counts stings from bees, wasps, and hornets together in tallying nearly 800 related deaths between 2011 and 2021, per CBS News. The highest annual number of deaths was 89 in 2017. The USDA notes that roughly 1,000 stings can kill an adult and offers some advice for people who start getting attacked. Among the tips: Run in a straight line to shelter, protect your face, and try not to flail your arms because you'll only make them madder. (Read more bees stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.