Fire officials said they found a large open hive, weighing around 100 pounds, in a tree nearby

bee swarm
The site where the bees attacked
| Credit: Northwest Fire District/Facebook

One person died and three others were hospitalized after hundreds of bees swarmed an area in Arizona, according to fire officials.

The Northwest Fire District confirmed the fatal incident in a press release on Facebook, noting that "at least six individuals were stung multiple times" during the attack.

According to the post, fire crews were called to the Marana area around noon on Thursday after receiving a call about a bee swarm.

Officials said they discovered a large open hive, weighing approximately 100 pounds, in a nearby tree.

Three people were attacked by the insects and fire crews believe they were stung hundreds of times, the post stated.

All three were transported to a local hospital for medical evaluation, but sadly one of them — only identified as an adult male — was later pronounced dead, per the fire district's post.

Three firefighters were also stung while responding to the incident, the post stated.

One firefighter was "believed to have been stung approximately 60 times," officials said. He was transported to a local hospital for evaluation but has since been released, while the other two firefighters did not require any treatment.

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Following the incident, bee handlers killed a majority of the creatures and removed the massive hive, NBC News reported, citing local police.

Fatal bee stings are relatively rare, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting that an average of 62 people died from hornet, wasp and bee stings each year between 2000–2017. Approximately 80% of those deaths were male, according to the CDC.

Those who experience bee, hornet or wasp stings are advised to remove the stinger, wash the site with soap and water, use an ice pack to reduce swelling and consider taking over-the-counter medication to relieve any pain, per the American Academy of Dermatology Association.