A Seguin man was tragically killed as he was doing landscaping work at a home in Austin. 53-year-old, Galvan Martinez worked as a landscaping lighting technician.

JOB TURNED DEADLY

During the job, Martinez hooked his harness up to a tree in the customer's backyard as he prepared to climb a ladder. Unfortunately, things turned deadly soon after.

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Martinez unintentionally disturbed a beehive and they instantly swarmed and attacked him. “The hive was so ginormous that it literally covered Franco instantly,” said family friend and pastor, Joe Maldonado.

SUSPENDED IN AIR

Martinez was suspended in the air by the harness as the bees attacked, “I guess in a panic trying to swat away the bees from himself, he kicked away the ladder,” said Maldonado.

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Two of his coworkers tried to help free Martinez however, they were stung as well and could not break him free.

SCREAMING FOR HELP

An anonymous neighbor recalled hearing Galvan Martinez’s screams for help, adding he appeared to be covered in 'thousands of bees.'

“They were very distraught,” the neighbor told KXAN. “It was horrible.”
“For over 10 minutes, all they could do was endure hearing anguish,” Maldonado said.

Once firefighters arrived they had to blast Martinez's body with a powerful water hose to get all the bees off of him before they could retrieve him from the tree.

BEEHIVE REGULATIONS

The massive beehive had been in the tree for some time and the residents had been aware of it but never experienced any issues. After the incident the Austin Code Department sent out an inspector to take photos, the department stated no prior code complaints had been filed for that address.

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A city ordinance regulates the maintenance and management of bee colonies within city limits. However, the ordinance does not apply to wild colonies in tree hollows or stumps. The city also does not provide services for the removal, relocation, or eradication of bees due to state regulations.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE ATTACKED BY BEES

Mike Lopez, a professional beehive remover advised those who encounter hives on their property "should leave them alone and call a professional." If you are being attacked the best advice is to keep moving and seek shelter indoors or in a vehicle.

“Under no circumstances do you stop moving,” Lopez said, he also mentioned bees are attracted to the carbon dioxide emitted as humans exhale, making a person’s mouth and nose especially vulnerable.

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