Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Identity sought for bees that stung, killed dog

Remains of bees litter the ground after their nest was destroyed by an exterminator. Bees from the nest killed a dog on Monday.


Remains of bees litter the ground after their nest was destroyed by an exterminator. Bees from the nest killed a dog on Monday.

LARGO — A day after her dog was stung more than 1,000 times and killed by a swarm of bees, Lisa Pham was still dealing with the fallout of Monday's attack.

An exterminator came to the Whispering Pines Mobile Home Park on Monday night and destroyed the nest beneath her neighbor's home. Pham said the exterminator estimated as many as 60,000 bees were at the nest.

A pet group also contacted Pham to offer to cremate Mimi, her pitbull mix, for free and to make a paw print for Pham's 12-year-old daughter, Ashlee.

The Florida Department of Agriculture sent a bee specialist on Tuesday to take samples of the bees to find out if they are European honey bees or their more aggressive Africanized cousins or some hybrid of the two.

"Until we analyze these bees in our lab to determine what degree of hybridization may have taken place, we really do not know," said Jerry Hayes, chief of apiary for the Florida Department of Agriculture.

His lab in Gainesville will examine the size and shape of the bees to figure out whether they are Africanized and to what extent.

To the untrained eye, the difference is impossible to tell, which is why anyone coming across bees in the wild needs to be careful, Hayes said.

It's behavior, not appearance, that distinguishes them, "and that is the scary thing," Hayes said. "You just never know what is going to happen."

Eric Jameson, state apiary inspector for the Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee and Hillsborough region, said this was the first time in his three years that he has had a report of a pet killed by bees.

Jonathan Abel can be reached at or (727) 445-4157.

Identity sought for bees that killed dog

Identity sought for bees that stung, killed dog 07/29/08 [Last modified: Thursday, July 31, 2008 3:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. What you need to know for Thursday, June 29


    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    See that thing in the water? No? That's the point. It's that time of the year when stingrays are often lurking in the sand, often not visibly. Remember to do the stingray shuffle if you're out at the beach this weekend. [JIM DAMASKE | Times]
  2. Pinellas beaches seeing fewer injuries from stingrays, but the summer is still young


    FORT DE SOTO — Rebecca Glidden leaned back in her lifeguard chair, watching behind sunglasses as families splashed in the water at Fort De Soto's North Beach.

    A Clearwater water safety supervisor demonstrates the stingray shuffle. Pinellas beaches are reporting relatively few injuries from stingrays so far this year, but they anticipate more as the summer wears on. Officials are reminding beachgoers to do the shuffle when they enter the water and keep an eye out for purple flags flying from the lifeguard towers, which indicate stingray activity. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  3. Weeki Wachee River advocates agree to work to resolve issues

    Local Government

    WEEKI WACHEE — Degradation of the Weeki Wachee River is a complex mix of circumstances, with a variety of jurisdictions holding the authority to fix the problems. That has made finding solutions over the years more about frustration than success.

    A boat and kayak drift into one another as they share the narrow passage near Rogers Park on the Weeki Wachee River in March. Advocates fear too many vessels are damaging the river.
  4. Despite change in Cuba policy, cruise ships sail on


    TAMPA -- It's smooth sailing for cruises from Tampa to Havana, with the first of Carnival Cruise Line's 12 such excursions launching today, two months after Royal Caribbean's initial voyage from Port Tampa Bay to the island.

    The Empress of the Seas cruise ship docks at the Port Tampa Bay Cruise Terminal 3 in Tampa. President Donald 

Trump's new Cuba policy may not hurt cruises to Havana at all. In fact, it may help these cruises. CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
  5. Lien forgiveness program aimed at blighted properties in Zephyrhills

    Local Government

    ZEPHYRHILLS — The city will begin offering a new residential lien forgiveness program in an effort to encourage improvements to properties and home ownership.

    City Manager Steve Spina said it is geared to foreclosures and properties for sale.