The sound of the men’s lawn mowers likely agitated the bees.
"Obviously, the sound is very loud," Lawrence said. "It's got a lot of vibration, so if you go up to a beehive with a lot of noise and you don't have any smoke or beekeeping equipment to calm them down, they are going to go into full defense."
The USDA's Agricultural Research Service offered tips online on what to do in the case of a bee attack:
- Run away quickly. Do not stop to help others, unless the other person is a small child or elderly person who needs assistance.
- Pull your shirt over your head as you run, to protect your eyes and other sensitive areas on your head. Do not let the move slow you down.
- Run until you reach shelter or a well-lit area. The light will confuse the bees.
- Do not jump into water. Bees will wait until you surface for air.
- If you are trapped with the bees, cover up with blankets, sleeping bags, clothes or anything else available.
- If you have been stung, remove all stingers, but do not use tweezers or your fingers, which will squeeze more venom into the wound. Scrape the stingers out sideways using your fingernail, the edge of your driver's license or credit card, or any other straight-edged object.
- If you see someone being attacked, tell them to run. Do not try to rescue them yourself.
- Call 911 to report a serious attack.
- If stung more than 15 times, you begin to feel ill or you suspect you might be allergic to bees, get medical help immediately.
The average person can handle 10 stings per pound of body weight, which makes multiple stings more dangerous for a child than an adult, the Agricultural Research Service said on its website. Although 500 stings can kill a child, an adult could potentially withstand more than 1,100 stings.