Donald Mason Killed By Giant Swarm of Bees in Little Havana

On Sunday, Donald Mason climbed a chair in an upstairs bedroom of his historic Little Havana house to deal with a swarm of bees so massive that it "sounded like the walls were alive," according to police. Mason fell from the chair while fighting off the insects, and when paramedics arrived, they had to wait for bee control experts to remove thousands of the creatures from Mason's body before they could get near him. Whether from the fall or the stings, the 49-year-old died from the ordeal.

Police still haven't released an incident report or announced what killed Mason. "We're still determining a cause of death," Det. Willie Moreno, a spokesman for the department, tells Riptide this morning.

But one way or another, the bees infesting Mason's house led to his death.

Mason's house was a 1920s-era wooden relic on NW 15th Avenue near the Miami River, reports The Miami Herald.

The electrician was the last of his family to live in the home, and on Sunday, he decided to try to deal with the massive bee infestation in the attic.

When medics arrived after his fall, they had to call in an expert to remove more than than 6,000 bees covering his body.

Nonetheless, Delrish Moss, an MPD spokesman, tells the Herald that police suspect the fall may have done in Mason.

"The fall likely had more to do with his death than anything to do with the bees," Moss tells the Herald.

We'll update this post when we get an official report from the department on Mason's death.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink