A swarm of aggressive bees stung as many as 20 people, including several firefighters, Thursday afternoon in Mission Viejo and prompted the evacuation of a shopping center.
The aerial assault was reported at 3:07 p.m. at Oaktree Village in the 23100 block of Los Alisos Boulevard, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.
Each of the victims received multiple stings, but no one requested medical attention, according to the OCFA.
All businesses in the shopping center were closed as a beekeeper, who described the winged attackers as highly aggressive, tried to figure out where the airborne assailants were coming from, OCFA Capt. Tony Bommarito said.
The owner of Razi Pharmacy, which is located in the shopping center, said people were screaming and running into the business seeking help.
“We gave them some cream, alcohol pads and ice packs to soothe them,” she said.
Fire crews cleared the scene about 5:30 p.m., but the beekeeper continued to search for the source of the bees, Bommarito said.
“They’ll probably keep everything closed until tomorrow morning,” he said, noting that windy conditions prevailed at the time the bees attacked.