Scottsdale woman recovering after bee attack

Posted at 4:43 PM, Mar 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-07 20:55:12-05

A Scottsdale woman is recovering after being stung by bees about 60 times in her home Sunday. A swarm of bees also attacked her daughter's three dogs, killing them. 

The bees are everywhere. Hundreds, maybe thousands of them litter Tess Ridgway's home.

She was attacked after she tried saving the dogs. 

"I started picking up the dogs, bringing them in one by one. When I opened up the door, the swarms of bees came in with me," Ridgway said. 

She called 911, and the dispatcher told her to go inside the bathroom with her dogs until help could arrive.

"One dog was already deceased, the little one. The other two, I was keeping water going on them. There were bees that had come in with us, and I was swatting them to try to keep them off the dogs," Ridgeway said. 

With about 85,000 bees on the loose, it took about 30 firefighters and a bee exterminator to keep the condo complex safe.

Other neighbors were also stung. Neighbor Aaron Fendler said he was stung four times, and his father-in-law, six times. 

Monday, a pair of Scottsdale firefighters came by to check on Ridgway.

"I'm very grateful to them. I'm very grateful."

Crews were able to save her five cats. Her daughter Carolyn Brown is grateful that her mom is okay.

"I'm heartbroken for my animals, I'm heartbroken for my mom," Brown said. "Why? Why us? I don't know.  Why did it have to happen?"

Outside the home, a stream of honey leads back up to a hole in the wall where the bee hive was tucked away, out of sight in the hollow space of the outside wall. 

Ridgeway now has a big mess to clean up and repairs to take care of, but she says her insurance company won't cover the bee attack. 

The family is also left with a vet bill of about $5,000.