One month ago, the Julian family were in celebration mode as their dog Pixie gave birth to six healthy puppies. But their celebrations were put to an abrupt halt recently when four of the 4-week-old puppies were killed by African bees. According to AZFamily.com, a swarm of bees unexpectedly attacked the unsuspecting dogs in the family's backyard last week.
Esther Julian and her one-year-old daughter were also stung by the bees, but Julian was focused on getting help for the family's dogs as soon as possible. Fire crews rescued five of the puppies and the mother. One pup, Bullet, is still missing. Julian rushed the five puppies and their mom to the vet.
Tragically, two of the puppies died at the vet. The family brought home the three puppies and the mom, but one puppy passed away shortly after getting home and another passed away later that night. "It was really sad and emotional," Julian told AZCentral. "Because we thought they were going to make it, and we had hope for the puppies to make it."
The one surviving puppy was fittingly named "Lucky" and both he and his mom Pixie are doing well according to Julian.
A bee exterminator was called out and said that clutter is what may have attracted a whopping 30,000 Africanized honeybees to the backyard. While the exterminator was able to get rid of the bees, they did not remove the honeycomb, because the family said it was too costly to do so. So that remains in the family's backyard.
Bee swarms are common in Arizona, especially during the Summer months. Most bee swarms in the Arizona area are composed of Africanized honeybees, like in this instance. They are also called "killer bees" because they have the tendency to attack people and animals that have crossed their territory.
The following are some important tips to keep in mind when dealing with killer bees:
- Do not swat at them
- Do not make flailing movements near their hives
- Run away quickly
- Do not jump into the water to avoid them as they will wait for you to come up for air