I spoke to Harold and Pat Chilcott a few days ago and they said that they had contacted the Advocate Newspaper to attempt to correct all the mis information that had been passed on by someone who wasn't even a witness to the bee attack. It was bad that the headline included "Killer Bees" as that has created a few crazy reactions from the general public that the local beekeepers have had to try and field since. Harold and Pat have had bee hives on their property for years (in fact years and years), but those hives are well separated from their horses, which they have also had for years without any problems between the two.
Apparently one of the horses was dead by the time that the vet arrived and he then had to euthanase the other two. They are not sure where the offending bees came from but they are pretty sure that it was not from the commercial hives on their property. Pat Chilcott's family have been beekeepers for probably 100 years, so she is a bit better educated about bees than most and not one to over-react. She said that she had been bothered by bees (the same bees that had attacked the horses) over the following days around her garden and that they were black bees. Since Harold and Pat's farm is pretty much in the bush, I would think that the bees were a ferral swarm/colony that had found it's way close to their house and the horses probably just happened to stand in the wrong place at the wrong time. Harold said that he had found a few other bee colonies on their property. Some of the black bees around here are nasty and I have experienced them start boiling out of a hive and and go on the attack when I was still several hundred feet away and hadn't otherwise disturbed the hive. Those bees would definately react badly to a horse. I usually see Harold and Pat several times a week, so I will relay any new information if anyone is interested.