Boy, 3, stung 18 times in Burghfield bee attack

An apology sign in Burghfield Image copyright Karen Todd
Image caption An apology message was put up after people were stung following the hive move

A three-year-old boy was taken to A&E after being stung 18 times by a colony of angry bees.

Hundreds of the insects were set loose when efforts to move a hive in Burghfield, Berkshire "went wrong".

A note put up near the village hall says: "A hive broke open...we are very sorry if you got stung."

A bee expert said the insects "would have felt under attack" and were protecting their home.

There was a sting in the tail for residents at about 10:30 BST when hundreds of the insects "just appeared" after the failed hive move.

Carla Chappell, who runs the market from the village hall, said they made a beeline for people outside, forcing people to take refuge inside for up to four hours.

"If anyone went outside, they just landed on you and stung," she added.

"We had an elderly guy come in, he had eight stings on his face and was very shaken.

"I looked out and anybody out there, the bees were just heading for them."

Stung in defence

Karen Todd, her husband and three-year-old son were all stung as they walked to the hall.

The family spent five hours in A&E while the boy was treated and have now returned home, Mrs Todd said.

"The first thing we knew there were bees just flying at us," she added.

"A man dressed in a beekeeper outfit came up and told me to keep walking.

"I could feel my head being stung.

"I counted 18 stings on my three-year-old, and my husband was stung at least 10 times on his face and about 10 times on his body."

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Ian James, from the British Beekeepers Association, said the bees would have stung in defence.

"Their first reaction is to sting people to get them out of the way," he said.

"They would have felt they were under attack so they defended their home."

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