Ambulances at Westmead Hospital. Picture: Jeff Herbert
Ambulances at Westmead Hospital. Picture: Jeff Herbert

Man dies after sting to lip

POLICE are preparing a report for the coroner after a 26-year-old man mowing a lawn in Kellyville died after suffering an apparent sting.

Emergency services were called to the man's home just after 1pm on Saturday by his partner after she found the man collapsed inside a bathroom, apparently suffering an allergic reaction.

Inspector Jim Szabo from the Hills Local Area Command said the man appeared to have been stung on his upper lip and suffered an allergic reaction.

"He was having difficulty breathing and was rushed to Westmead Hospital in a critical but unstable condition," he said.

"There was significant swelling to his lips and body. He passed away on Sunday. The coroner has been informed."

The man has not been named but it is understood the man and his partner have a seven-month-old son.

Police said they were waiting for a post mortem to pinpoint the exact cause of the man's death. It is understood that his neighbour had bee hives in his garden.

Inspector Szabo would not say if the man had been stung by a bee but said: "We are investigating the event."

President of the Amateur Beekeeper's Association, Parramatta branch, Peter Clarke from Castle Hill said he was shocked and saddened by the death.

He said the man may have been stung by a European wasp, which can live in the ground and would be disturbed by someone mowing the lawn.

He said bees more or less stayed in their hive during cold weather.

He said Australian native bees did not sting and European bees rarely stung people. "It is very unusual for that to happen," he said.

Mr Clarke is registered to collect swarms but said the last time he was called out was in November to Castle Hill.

The Department of Industry held an inquiry into suburban beekeeping following the death of a young mother in 2000 in Stanmore.

It said deaths from bee stings were rare.

According to beekeeping register records there were 3821 beekeepers in NSW in 2000.

Over 30 local government authorities in the greater Sydney area have registered beekeepers.

The report from the inquiry said as at April 2000 there were 70 registered beekeepers in Hornsby Shire, 60 in what was then called Baulkham Hills Shire and 52 in Blacktown City Council area.

There is a statutory requirement under Section 6 of the NSW Apiaries Act 1985 for all beekeepers to be registered. Keeping unregistered bees is an offence with the provision of financial penalties under the Act of up to $2200.

Details of beekeeping in NSW and how to get help for swarms visit 

News Corp Australia

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