Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Dog dies from 700 bee stings as swarm attacks in Northern Ireland

Bee attack:Cocker spaniel Todd
Todd, the McDonagh family pet spaniel dog which died after being stung by a swarm of bees close to their home in the Creggan Estate in Derry. Collect from Martin McKeown

A Northern Ireland couple spoke of their horror yesterday after their pet cocker spaniel Todd died after sustaining almost 700 stings when he was attacked by a swarm of bees.

The attack took place in the allotment used by Daniel and Margaret McDonagh at Termonbacca, just several hundred yards from their Londonderrry home.

Mr and Mrs McDonagh had gone to their allotment with their three-year-old granddaughter Grace.

“We saw this dark swarm of bees going towards the dog,” said Mrs McDonagh. “Myself and Daniel were stung a few times, and suddenly we saw this dark swarm of bees going towards the dog.”

Five-year-old Todd had been tethered to a pole because there were lambs in the adjoining field.

“We were terrified for Grace so we grabbed her and ran off as quickly as we could. We weren't able to get at Todd because the bees were all over him,” added Mrs McDonagh. “Our first instinct was to get Grace to safety. After we ran back to the house Daniel returned to the allotment. He eventually grabbed Todd and took him to the vet who told us that Todd had been stung almost 700 times.

“On Father's Day, because Daniel was so upset, members of our family bought him a pedigree cocker spaniel puppy,” she said.

Michael Young, chairman of the Northern Ireland Institute Of Beekeepers, described the incident as “horrific” and added: “All beekeepers will be horrified by what happened here,” he said.

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