Update: Iolani Palace remains closed on Friday, September 20.
HONOLULU (KHON2) — A man was treated by Emergency Medical Services after a multiple bees stung him at Iolani Palace around 11:15 a.m.
The 32-year-old man was stung multiple times in the face, head and upper body.
“One guard came out with a fire extinguisher. He emptied the extinguisher, and then he brought out water trying to shoot the bees [around the man], but he was not successful,” said Pomai Toledo with Friends of Iolani Palace.
He was later transported to a hospital in serious condition. Other staff and volunteers suffered minor bee stings in the back lanai area as well.
The Department of Agriculture identified the bees as the European honey bee, which are not native to Hawaii.
“If you get too close to the hive, if you get in their flight path, if you start disrupting them, that’s when they’ll start to get aggressive.”Darcy Oishi, Department of Agriculture
Around 5 p.m., a bee extractor and an exterminator came to remove to bees. Friends of Iolani Palace said there were hives found in at least three of the four towers.
“In this case because the palace is historic, there’s a limited amount of things that you can actually do to the structure to get the bees out, and more importantly to create a situation where bees are not going to go back in,” said Darcy Oishi with the Department of Agriculture.
Officials will assess the situation Thursday night after the work is done and make the decision on whether to re-open Friday.