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Melbourne man stung more than 100 times trying to save dog from bee swarm

The dog died from the stings

A Melbourne man was stung repeatedly while trying to save his dog from a swarm of bees Monday. The man was hospitalized and has since been released, but the dog died from the stings, reports News 6 partner Florida Today.

Leo Cross, a nuisance animal removal specialist with Florida Wildlife Trappers, was at the scene Monday with a specialized vacuum he uses to capture the bees.

It may take multiple trips before the tens of thousands of bees Cross estimates were living inside the wall of the Myrtlewood Road home can be removed.

"A lot of people don't notice or they may just see a couple bees hanging around outside," Cross said. "If you see 10 to 20 bees, there could be thousands more you don't see."

When one bee starts stinging near the hive, the others pick up on a pheromone, causing them to come to its aid, Cross said.

This is likely what happened when the dog was being stung and its owner intervened. 

The bees at the scene had crawled into the wall behind a power box after being attracted to the heat. Cross said they may have been there for as long as a year. 

Cross aid it's important to capture the bees alive to be relocated with local beekeepers. 

"We need them. As much as they can be a pain in the butt, they're such important pollinators," Cross said. 

This is especially important as American honey bees pollinate one third of all food eaten in the country. This puts pressure on beekeepers and farmers as honey bee colonies have been dying out in droves. 

The Melbourne man, whose identity was not released, was expected to leave the hospital Tuesday and make a recovery.