Franco Galvan Martinez, 53, disturbed the hive as he worked at a home in Austin
Franco Galvan Martinez, 53, disturbed the hive as he worked at a home in Austin, and accidentally kicked away the ladder beneath him, his family say.
“I guess in a panic trying to swat away the bees from himself, he kicked away the ladder,” Joe Maldonado, a family friend and pastor, told KXAN.
“The hive was so ginormous that it literally covered Franco instantly.”
Two of the victim’s co-workers below tried help but were also stung by the bees.
“For over 10 minutes, all they could do was endure hearing his anguish,” added Mr Maldonado.
Emergency services were called to the scene on Thursday and firefighters used their hoses to blast the bees away so they could reach the married father of two.
His family say Galvan Martinez was working for Bill Biggadike & Associates, a landscape and lighting business based in New Braunfels, Texas.
The company confirmed that one of its workers had died, but made no other comment.
City officials say that the incident has been assigned to the Austin Code Department who sent an inspector to the home where the incident took place.
Professional beehive remover Mike Lopez told KXAN that in the case of an attack you have to keep moving and try to get indoors or into a vehicle.
“Under no circumstances do you stop moving,” Mr Lopez said.
He added that after bees sting a person or animal they release alarm pheromones that signal other bees to join the attack.
“Once you have one, then you’ll have two, then you’ll have 16. And it will keep on until you have thousands on you,” he said.