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A gardener suffered the nation's first recorded attack by Africanized "killer" bees but was able to drive himself to a hospital for treatment.

Jesus Cenobio Diaz, 35, was stung 18 times May 20, he said, when his riding mower disturbed a hive in a narrow culvert pipe under a driveway at a Brownsville mobile home park.Officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Texas Agricultural Extension Service on Tuesday confirmed that Diaz was stung by "killer" bees, so-called because of their tendency to launch mass attacks on perceived threats to their colonies.

City workers destroyed the colony and removed the hive, and sent some of the bees to the USDA's research lab in Beltsville, Md.