Top 10 Killer Bee Attacks in Arizona

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You probably know the story of the Brazilian scientist who managed to let an African queen bee escape in the 1950s. Over the next few decades, families of bees made their way north until finally reaching Texas in 1991, where Jesus Lopez had the honor of being the first person to be stung by them. He survived with just 18 stings. Two years later, Lino Lopez, 82, became the first person the United States to be killed by the Africanized bees.

The bees reached Arizona in June of 1993, according to the University of Arizona.

With interest over Arizona's bees at high buzz, New Times has put together a list of some of the worst episodes of bee death and destruction in the state:

10. Sometimes being No. 1 sucks. In October of 1995, Apache Junction resident Mary Williams, 88, became the first Arizonan to die from a killer-bee attack. Swarmed just outside of her home, experts estimated the elderly woman was stung more than 1,000 times.

9. This week's 800,000-bee attack in Douglas. One person died and four others were injured. One of the most amazing things about this bee story was how many news outlets picked it up. While Arizonans have seen these stories many times before, they always get our attention -- because we know the victim could just as easily have been us.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.