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2 Women Recover From Laguna Woods Golf Course Bee Attack

LAGUNA HILLS ( — Two women are recovering Wednesday after being attacked by a swarm of bees while playing golf at the Laguna Woods Golf Course.

The attack was reported at about 11 a.m. at the golf course, 24112 Moulton Parkway, where first responders found two women in their 70s who had been stung repeatedly.

A lawn mower apparently disturbed a hive inside an irrigation box on the course, prompting the bees to descend on a 72-year-old woman, who was stung 15 times, Orange County Fire Authority Steve Concialdi said. Her friend, a 74-year-old woman, rushed to help her and swatted at the bees, which then attacked her.

"There were stingers in both of these ladies' hair, in their scalp, and then on her back," Concialdi said.

The 74-year-old woman was stung 105 times.

Both women were taken to Saddleback Memorial Hospital. The first woman was released Tuesday, but the second woman – who had 50 stingers removed at the scene and 50 more removed at the hospital – was kept overnight for observation, OCFA's Paul Holaday said.

Other golfers said they had never noticed a bee problem at the Laguna Woods Golf Course, but David Marder of Bee Busters, Inc. says its not unusual to find hives in irrigation boxes.

"That's very typical, we see Africanized honeybees nest in … boxes all the time," Marder said.

The behavior of the bees in this attack, and in a separate Riverside attack on two crossing guards a few hours later, is typical of an Africanized honeybee attack, he said.

"Africanized honeybees are hyper defensive, they're gonna blow up, and they're gonna, 'hey, what's going on here,'" Marder said.

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