Bee attack on school kids triggered by boy throwing rock at hive

18 January 2017 - 21:08
By TMG Digital
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Image: Thinkstock honeybee, bee on flower, africa

A South Coast pupil who threw a rock at a beehive that was hanging from a tree is believed to have been behind the attack by an angry swarm that stung 15 children on Wednesday afternoon.

Netcare 911's Chris Botha said paramedics together with the provincial service and several other emergency services responded to a bee sting attack at Naidooville school in Umkomaas.

He said paramedics found that fifteen children had been stung by the swarm mainly in the head and hands.

"After examining the children they were found to be in a stable condition‚ fortunately no one presented with any allergic reactions."

Botha said this time of the year is traditionally swarming season for bees.

"Established hives breed a new queen and part of the swarm then moves off to form their own hive. While the bees are in flight looking for a new place to make a hive‚ they will often settle in trees and hang there for some time."

He added that during this time some of the bees known as scouts will look for a suitable place to build a hive before they will come back and fetch the queen and other worker bees.

While they are not usually aggressive at this time‚ as they have no hive to protect‚ they will attack if they come under attack.

"Once one starts to sting it gives off a pheromone and that is an attack signal to all the other bees."

Botha‚ who has been a beekeeper for more than thirty years‚ said he recommended that people teach children the dangers of bees and to avoid them.

"We were very lucky today‚ as this could have cost children their lives."

-TMG Digital/The Times