Landscaper killed by BEES after accidentally disturbing their hive

Texas landscaper, 53, is killed by swarm of hybrid BEES after disturbing their hive while suspended in a harness hanging from a tree: He was stung for TEN minutes and could not escape

  • Franco Galvan Martinez, 53, was suspended by harness when he was attacked
  • His panic was so bad that Galvan Martinez kicked away his ladder
  • Galvan Martinez is survived by his wife, two children and grandchildren
  • According to the CDC, an average of 62 people are killed every year by bee, wasp and hornet stings 

A Texas landscaping lighting technician and grandfather was killed after he was set upon by a swarm of bees on Thursday. 

Franco Galvan Martinez, 53, was suspended by a harness as he worked in a tree in a backyard in Austin when the horror unfolded. 

His friend and pastor, Joe Maldonado, told KXAN that in his panic after being stung, Galvan Martinez kicked away the ladder he used to get up the tree. Galvan Martinez remained suspended in the harness as the bees attacked. 

Maldonado said that there were so many bees, they covered Galvan Martinez’s body. The entire attack lasted for ten minutes. 

Franco Galvan Martinez was killed after he was set upon by a swarm of bees on Thursday

Neighbors said that they knew about the bee hive but it hasn’t caused any problems in the past

A witness told the station that two men who working with Galvan Martinez attempted to rescue him but they to were attacked by the bees. 

Most wild bee hives in Texas are likely a hybrid between the more docile European honey bee and the more aggressive Africanized honey bee. 

According to the KXAN report, firefighters used a hose to blast the bees away. A neighbor said that local residents were aware of the hive but no action had been taken. 

Austin’s city government does not provide services that remove bee hives from private properties. 

Firefighters were called to the scene where they blasted water at the bees

Galvan Martinez is survived by his wife, two children and grandchildren. His wife wrote on Facebook that her husband is now in a ‘better place’

Galvan Martinez worked for a company named Bill Biggadike & Associates, a landscape lighting company

Galvan Martinez is survived by his wife, two children and his grandchildren. He was a resident of Seguin, Texas, an hour south of Austin. Maldonado described Martinez as a ‘very joyful man.’

In a heartbreaking tribute, Galvan Martinez’s wife wrote on Facebook: ‘I already miss you so much my beloved husband Franco Galvan Martinez you will always be in my heart. I know you are in a better place in heaven.’

Galvan Martinez worked for a company named Bill Biggadike & Associates, a landscape lighting company.   

According to the CDC, there are an average of 62 deaths in the US every year from bee, wasp and hornet stings. The agency notes that 80 percent of victims are male. 

In July 2021, an elderly Texas man was killed when he was stung 300 times while doing yard work in San Antonio.  

Entomologist Dr. Justin O. Schmidt told ABC News in 2018 that the worst thing to do when being attacked by bees is to flail your arms. 

Experts advise not trying to swat away bees if attacked, try to get indoors as soon as possible

Schmidt said: ‘When you see a bee buzzing near your head, I know it’s very satisfying to flap your arms. It just feels so good to swat at it – don’t do it! Bad news! It’ll make everything worse. The bees feel threatened and their natural response is to rise up together and defend their queen.’

In addition, dead bees send out a scent that calls for other bees to join in an attack.

A Banner Health guideline advises those who are attacked by a swarm of bees to attempt to get indoors or into a car as the bees are unlikely to follow. The guideline notes that many fire departments have a solution that causes bees to disperse. 

The Texas A&M Agrilife Extension says on their website that they average healthy adult should be able to withstand hundreds of bee stings but nonetheless it’s recommended that you remove the bee venom as soon as possible.  

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