Man stung about 100 times after construction workers hit beehive in the East Valley

GILBERT, Ariz. (FOX 10) -- A group of construction workers digging in an East Valley storm drain earlier in the week when they hit a hive, and caused the bees to swarm.

FOX 10 spoke with a bee expert on Thursday, who said calls for bee removal are up. A man FOX 10 spoke with on Thursday, unfortunately, was a victim to the spike. He was clearing land on a vacant property when he was stung about 100 times. The beekeeper who helped him finally get rid of the bees said the hive was about three feet by four feet.

"I can still hear it right now when I think about it," said Zach Hammargren with Better Choice Demolition and Earthworks. "It's a scary thought, and I'm terrified of bees."

Hammargren had anything but an ordinary day at work on Tuesday. He was clearing land near Pecos and Power in Gilbert when his coworker, who was running equipment, unknowingly discovered a massive beehive in a catch basin. After the hive was hit, the bees swarmed. In a matter of minutes, Hammargren was covered.

"All I heard was the loud buzzing noises," said Hammargren. "I looked down, and my whole shirt was just covered with bees. My whole shirt. I couldn't even see my shirt."

Hammargren ran, not knowing what to do.

"When I got close to the street I fell, not because I tripped, but because I felt disoriented, my vision started fading out," said Hammargren.

Hammargren was stung dozens of times all over his body. Luckily, he's OK. Dan Punch with Punch Honeybee Company said with our wet winter and warm spring, bees are active and more aggressive than in years past.

"They're more defensive," said Punch. "They're more apt to try and ward you off than normal."

Punch says if you encounter a swarm, one of the best things to do is get into air conditioning.

"The bees will stop moving if their body gets below 50°F (10°C), and they will slow down when they hit the cold," said Punch. "We will go in the truck, and a lot of them will go directly to the windows, trying to get out."

Other things you should do include finding a shelter, covering yourself with a blanket or clothes, and go into a dark space, as bees can't see in the dark, so they will try to find light. People should never get into the water, as bees will hover until you get out.