Arizona golf course groundskeeper dies after being attacked by bees

Arizona golf course groundskeeper dies after being attacked by bees

A passing swarm of bees claimed the life of an Arizona golf course employee.

The news of Rick Messina’s death was made public via a message to the golf club’s members on July 3, local KOLD-TV reported. Messina was working on the eighth hole of Pusch Ridge Course in Oro Valley the morning of June 24 when he was stung by passing bees. He went to a local hospital, where he died three days later. 

“Rick was a dedicated and cherished member of our team, known for his exceptional work ethic, positive attitude and unwavering commitment to his duties,” the message to members obtained by local KOLD said. “His sudden passing is a profound loss to our work family and our community. He will be deeply missed by all.”

Messina was a groundskeeper who was mowing when he was stung, a statement from El Conquistador Golf to USA Today said. 

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Messina, 57, was part of the company’s agronomy team since July 2022, USA Today reported. 

Following his death, the club brought in professional beekeepers, who inspected each of the golf club’s 45 holes and did not find any bee activity.

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Town of Oro Valley officials have warned that “summer is peak season for bee swarms,” and asked people to be “vigilant,” according to the local outlet. 

Oro Valley is about 10 miles north of Tucson. 

Back in May, a swarm of bees at Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field in Phoenix delayed a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers by nearly two hours.

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.