Saturday, July 20, 2024

Golf course groundsman, 57, suffers horrific freak death

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An Arizona golf course employee died after a bee attack while doing maintenance work on the eight hole.

Rick Messina, 57, was working near hole 8 at Pusch Ridge Course, part of El Conquistador Golf Club in Oro Valley, on June 24 when he was stung by a swarm of bees.

He was mowing the lawn around 7 a.m. that fateful day when the swarm attacked. Messina was taken to the hospital and died due to complications from the bee stings three days later on June 27.

‘Rick was a dedicated and cherished member of our team, known for his exceptional work ethic, positive attitude, and unwavering commitment to his duties,’ El Conquistador Golf Club told DailyMail.com.

Rick Messina, 57, was working near hole 8 at Pusch Ridge Course, part of El Conquistador Golf Club in Oro Valley, on June 24 when he was stung by a swarm of bees
He was mowing the law around 7 a.m. when the swarm attacked. Messina was taken to the hospital and died due to complications from the bee stings three days later on June 27

‘El Conquistador Golf and Indigo Sports has deployed support resources to both Rick’s family and our team to help all navigate through this difficult time.’ 

El Conquistador is a massive golf and tennis club that boasts three golf courses, 31 tennis courts, full fitness facility, Olympic lap pool, 10 pickleball courts, a racquetball court and a restaurant.

Full golf memberships start at $535 per month for families and $360 for individuals. 

Messina had been working for El Conquistador Golf Club’s agronomy team since July 2022. 

Beekeepers inspected all 45 golf holes across the three courses on the day of Messina’s attack and found no bee activity.

‘It appears Rick was attacked by a traveling swarm of bees,’ the club said.

Experts have advised community members to stay vigilant during prime bee swarm season.

‘The Town would like to remind all citizens to be mindful of the wildlife and venomous creatures in our region. Summer is peak season for bee swarms, so please remain vigilant,’ Oro Valley said in a statement obtained by 13 News

Messina had been working for El Conquistador Golf Club¿s agronomy team since July 2022

In April, the start of the Arizona Diamondbacks game against the Los Angeles Dodgers was delayed due to a bee colony swarming behind home plate, forcing seats in a few sections to be evacuated. 

The game was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. local time in Phoenix, with a delay of more than 90 minutes to allow the bees to be successfully removed from the field of play. 

Chase Field has a retractable roof, but it was open on Tuesday night, leading to the entry of the bees. 

Eventually, a beekeeper, Matt Hilton, was lifted up to the post 30 feet above the ground where the swarm was located. Hilton sprayed and vacuumed them out of sight. 

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