A 91-year-old man from South Texas is slowly recovering after he was stung by an estimated 1,000 Africanized honey bees at his ranch last month.

Manuel Trevino said he was cutting brush on his San Diego ranch on March 31 when he backed his tractor close to a windmill, unaware of an underground hive of bees.

"They came flying," he said. "I had on gloves, but was wearing short sleeves, they were all on my face and covered my arms."

He said he fell off the tractor, swatting his face. The bees followed him as he walked a half mile to his daughter's house.

"His arms and head were as black as an unshaven beard with those things," said his wife, Florence Trevino. She said his face puffed out "three times its size," and his eyes were swelled shut for five days.

It took doctors at Christus Spohn Hospital Shoreline, who estimated the number of stings, 12 days to remove all the stingers, treat his eyes, and supervise dialysis after bee venom shut down his kidneys.

His daughter, 55-year-old Gracie Gonzales, said it was a miracle he'd survived.

"He's like a cat with nine lives, either lucky or God's just not ready for him yet," she said.