Two firefighters, a police officer and two others were transported to a Pasadena hospital with multiple bee stings on Thursday, officials said.
The Pasadena Fire Department warned of an influx of bees buzzing on Colorado Boulevard between Bonnie Avenue and Sierra Bonita Avenue, near Pasadena City College, around 4:00 p.m.
A large colony of Africanized bees had made a hole about 25 feet in the air under an awning at a Howard Johnson hotel, located at 1599 E. Colorado Blvd., officials said.
"Something set them off, some activity, noise, vibration... it's hard to tell what," said Dave Williams of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association.
Williams, a professional beekeeper, estimated that there were anywhere from 30,000 to 40,000 bees at the scene.
The bees stung five people, including two firefighters, one police officer and two civilians, who were all taken to the hospital with minor injuries, according to the department.
One of the first responders was stung six times upon arriving to the scene to try to help civilians, officials said.
Sky5 footage shows two firefighters climbing a ladder truck to assist with removing the hive.
Initially, smoke was used to try to calm the bees, according to Williams. But when that didn't work, fire crews sprayed carbon dioxide and foam on the hive to kill the bees, officials said.
"We don't like to kill bees, we're beekeepers," Williams said. "But in a situation like this, where the public safety is of concern, we have to take care of the public."
The entire block was initially closed off and authorities had said to avoid the area, but all roads have since been reopened.