msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 3/19/2010 12:45:58 PM ET 2010-03-19T16:45:58

Two women are in critical condition with hundreds of bee stings after a swarm attacked them while they were out for an evening walk.

A witness told KTVK-TV that she heard screaming Thursday evening and saw the women lying in the street covered in bees from head to toe.

They were taken to hospital after the incident in Phoenix and were said to be in a critical condition.

In a separate incident, a 76-year-old woman in Texas was taken to hospital after she was stung about 100 times by a swarm.

In the Phoenix attack, two men jumped in to help but they were also stung with one also hospitalized as a result.

“The women were screaming and they couldn’t even flail their arms or anything. They just were frozen,” said Tony Garcia, one of the neighbors who tried to help, according to the KPHO news channel.

'Covered head to toe'
The man who was also attacked managed to get a hold of a fire extinguisher, which he gave Garcia, KPHO reported.

“They looked like that guy in the Guinness Book of World Records. They were just covered head to toe — no skin exposed, their faces weren’t exposed, their clothes weren’t exposed, the bees were in their hair. They were just completely covered,” added Garcia.

Garcia sprayed the women with foam until the bees started to sting him, KPHO said.

Phoenix firefighters managed to get the women away from the bees, KPHO said, then sprayed the hive with foam, killing the bees.

The Texan senior was attacked while mowing her lawn in Annaville.

She tried to fight off the swarm with a garden hose and she was later taken to the hospital, where she was said to be recoving.

Firefighters there also took care of the bee colony, which was on a nearby telephone pole.

"There are about four holes inside that telephone pole. It looks like a woodpecker made a hole in it and they made a home in there," said Tony Pantoja with the Corpus Christi Vector Control.

Officials warn people to stay away from bee swarms and avoid loud noises or wild movements that may disturb the bees.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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