Rogerio Zuniga's tractor struck an unused irrigation pipe filled with 15-20 feet of honeycomb

By Alex Heigl
Updated July 02, 2015 10:30 AM

Rogerio Zuniga, a third-generation farmer from Lozano, Texas, was killed Sunday when he struck an abandoned irrigation pipe on his tractor, upsetting the thousands of bees inside, which promptly swarmed him and stung him to death.

“The bees shredded him basically,” Rogerio’s sister Lisa Zuniga told CBS affiliate KGBT. Rogerio’s family noticed his tractor by itself in the field and discovered his body about 100 yards away, covered in bees. He had been stung over 3,000 times.

San Benito Fire Department Chief Raul R. Zuniga Jr., who is Rogerio’s cousin, told ABC that they discovered 15-20 feet of honeycomb in the pipe Rogerio hit. “The thing was just filled with bees,” Raul said. “They were extremely aggressive, too.”

“In our area, bees have always been a problem, but not to this extent,” Raul continued. “I was told the weather has been causing them to swarm and that most colonies are infected with Africanized bees that seem to be more aggressive.”

“I got scared because I live here by myself, and I get scared because when my grandkids come, they like to play outside,” Rosa Garcia, a neighbor and friend of Rogerio, said. “And I don t know what could be in the trees outside or anywhere.”