On April 8th, 2020 we had an incident at our home that we will never forget. A hive of Honeybees had established itself in our subfloor between the first and second stories. We had contracted with a local Beekeeper to remove the hive a few days prior. We had dealt with honeybees a few years ago and were removed without incident. On this day, we had no idea what would transpire after the removal process began.
Honeybees ended up throughout the interior of our home by accident. They seemed harmless at first, as long as you didn’t mess with them. They were clinging to the windows, there were bees in the floor and a few flying around but not alarming to us or the beekeeper at the time. We had decided to place our dogs (Blade, and Elsa) in the back yard in fear they would antagonize or chase the bees since there were several in the floor. We didn’t want them to get stung trying to catch them. The back yard we felt was a safer place since it was not near the hive on the opposite side of the house.
During the process of removal, the bees became aggressive, we suddenly heard swarming bees from inside the house. A few moments later we could hear Blade breathing as he came in the back door from the garage. The door was left open purposely to let the bees escape the house. Surprised, because they had escaped the fence by breaking the latch on the gate. We rounded the corner from the room we were in, and the dogs were running in terrified. Blade’s mouth was bleeding, and he was slobbering, they both were obviously overheated and breathing very hard, they needed help as they ran to our bedroom for safety. Still not realizing a bee attack had occurred, Joel briefly checked the dogs and didn’t initially see any evidence of bees. First thinking they were involved in a fight of some kind; Joel exited the garage to investigate what happened them. As he entered the driveway, he was attacked by bees. Joel came back inside to check on the dogs again and I was able to inform him that the dogs had been attacked by the bee’s. A phone call was made to our Veterinarian Dr. Gray. She insisted they need help ASAP. Joel then exited the house again to try to make it to a vehicle to evacuate the family, and dogs who needed immediate assistance.
When Joel exited the house he was attacked again, hopeful he could fight them off long enough to get to a vehicle but couldn’t. He tried to create distance from the house/hive in hopes they would disperse. However, they would not disperse, and it didn’t matter how far, fast he ran, or how hard he fought them the were relentless in their attack. After about 15 minutes of battling bees, as a last effort he ended up back at the house trying to use the water hose to get bees off of him, now tired and stung about 100 times he is calling for help.
While this time is elapsing, I am wondering what is taking him so long until I hear Joel screaming for help, at that moment then my heart stopped and I have never felt so scared and helpless! Our son, Micah, came out of his room after hearing the screams and I instructed him to stay in his room and not to open the door until he was told. Joel makes it back inside and into the shower to wash the bees off. So now we are all trapped in separate rooms with 3 needing medical attention. I immediately called 911 and when they arrived to treat Joel, they could not exit their vehicles without being attacked. Joel patiently stood by in a bee suit provided by the beekeeper while they formulated a plan to treat him. They eventually had to get him in the back of a pickup truck and drive away with him to a safe area for treatment. It was then were informed that the bees were “Africanized”.
While Joel was being treated, our Mayor Rodney Alexander had been summoned by Dr. Gray for assitance to get our fur babies to the help that they majorly needed. Mayor Alexander has bee suits that were priceless in that time and helped during a time that no one else could no matter how bad they wanted to. We are so very thanfkful to the many that wanted and tried to help but just were not able. Mayor Alexander and Dillon wrapped Elsa in a blanket and carried her to his truck to be able to rush her to Dr. Gray. When they returned their goal was to then take Blade, but Blade was not just a big dog but a big baby and he wasn't going to let just anyone carry him. So at that time, Dillon removed his bee suit and sat with me to help me keep Blade comfortable and allow the Mayor to take the suit upstairs to Micah so he could safely be removed from the home. Joel still equipped with a bee suit was treated and returned home by Trenton FD. Despite beginning to feel sick now, he was on a mission to help remove Blade from the home and get him to the help he needed. The Mayor, Dillon and Joel wrapped Blade up and safely carried him out of the home and to safety. Elsa was being treated when Joel arrived with Blade, she was alert and sitting up. Her face was swollen from bee stings as she watched on. Blade was unable to walk or stand as Joel carried him to get treated, he desperately needed care to save his life. Dr. Gray and her staff immediately began to care for him as he was exhausted and poisoned by multiple bee stings over his body, and face.
Joel stayed with them as long as he could, he went outside and at that point due to feeling nauseated, and shortly after going outside he began to vomit. This is when I arrived at the vet after the Mayor made one more trip to our home to help me exit safely and get to my family. Thanks to Mayor Alexander, Dillon and their bee suits they were able to help us all get out of the house, and our dogs to the Vet Clinic. After arriving at the Vet and seeing Joel’s condition, I made another call to 911 and he was then taken to the Emergency Room in Bonham for treatment.
Thankfully after a couple of hours in the ER Joel was able to be released. We couldn't go home that night due to the bee’s still swarming and honestly we didn't have a desire to go home until a few days later. The following morning we learned our Baby Boy Blade didn't make it through the night. This all seemed like a nightmare and we just kept waiting for someone to tell us that it wasn't real!
It is real though and it is a reality that we are having to face as we are back in our home. We catch ourselves replaying the day in our minds as we look around and asking what could we have done differently. Thanks to a dear friend of mine, we came up with the idea of Bee Suits for Blade. My goal in sharing our story is to raise enough money to equip our local Trenton Volunteer Fire Department with Bee Suits in honor of our Blade. If this was to ever happen again to anyone in our community, we have a way to help immediately which could mean life or death for many!! Obviously these bee’s exist in our area and it could happen at anytime, to anyone and without a suit you are helpless!! That is the worst feeling in the world and we want to help prevent that for any families and their animals in our sweet hometown of Trenton.
Thank you in advance for honoring our Baby Boy Blade with Bee Suits for Blade and helping our local Volunteer Fire Department have the ability to help while protecting themselves in this type of situation! <3 We are thankful for you all!!