A WEEKEND walk turned to tragedy when a man saw his two dogs bitten more than 600 times by bees at a Rainbow Beach track on Sunday.
Distraught pet owner Bob Butter was reduced to tears when he told the story of how his beloved dogs Jess and Jack spent their final hours.
Visiting from Logan, he had taken the Doberman stumpy tail dogs, who were inseparable siblings always keen for adventure, for a walk on a forest track off Kurrawa Dr.
Just off the path Bob spotted about 30 man made beehives.
"Next thing I knew I heard a ruckus behind me," and he looked up to see Jess, the leader of the two dogs, biting herself in a frenzy and rolling on the ground.
The dogs were being attacked, and Bob was in shock to see huge swarms of bees engulfing the animals in patches the size of saucers.
Bob, who has an allergic history with insects, had no choice but to run.
He took his shirt off and swiped at the swarming bees, losing his glasses as he ran with the dogs to the car.
Bob drove his dogs to the water at the Carlo boat ramp and that's when he saw how serious it was.
Jess was unconscious, defecating and unresponsive, while Jack was "panting like crazy."
He rushed the dogs to Gympie Veterinary Services where the clinic staff said they had never seen anything like it.
Vet Greg Cavanagh did everything he could to combat the envenomation.
The dogs were reacting so vehemently, they were thought to have been bitten by a snake.
They were suffering neurological trauma, muscle break down, red blood cell rupturing, kidney failure and eventually compete organ shut down.
The vet said bee stings became fatal when there were 24 stings per kilo.
Bob got the call later that day that his two pets, who had been part of the family for 14 years, had not made it.
"It's like losing a family member," he said, fighting back tears.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I think I was going to lose them."
Bob, who had minor swelling from some stings, questioned why the privately owned bees were on land owned by the Department of Natural Resources.
When he visited the site yesterday the hives had been removed, but only to a neighbouring track 200m away.
They were due for further removal yesterday.
It will stop the tragedy being repeated, but it won't bring back Jess and Jack; two well-loved dogs with big hearts for adventure.