Africanized or killer bees are no strangers to Belmopan and must be avoided at all cost. Yesterday one Belmopan resident found out just how dangerous and lethal they really are.
Julian Cruz Reporting
Africanized bees, also known as “killer bees,” did not get that notorious recognition by chance. The hybrid bees are far more aggressive than any of the other sub-species. Small swarms of Africanized bees are capable of taking over other bee hives by invading the hive and establishing their own queen after killing the hive queen. Today we visited an empty house on Trinity Blvd where the killer bees had set up a nest under the roof of the house. The story is that some kids got into the yard to raid a mango tree, disturbed the bees and almost paid a fatal price. Guadalupe Link, a neighbor two houses down, shared how her dogs became the unwilling victims of the killer bees instead.
Guadalupe Link We didn’t know we had bees in the neighborhood until my dog came yesterday afternoon about 3:30. I heard him crying and I went to the screen door and I saw him rubbing his face. I was going to open the door, but then I saw the two other dogs come rushing with a bunch of bees. I closed back the screen door and I took the straw can and I started to spray them to see if they would let them go. But the dogs didn’t stay in one place; they ran around crying. My daughter-in-law heard two boys stoning the mango tree in the neighbor’s yard and then she heard them running and then the dogs started to bark. It looked like they got stung, because they left the mangos on the ground and they ran. However, the dogs when they see children running, the bark and so it looks like it attacked the bees and the bees came after them.
She further shared that they have never experienced such an attack in all the years her family has lived on that street.
Guadalupe Link We never had any bees and we have been here for years.
Julian Cruz And this is the first time you have had such an incident.
Guadalupe Link Yes, but I heard it on the news before – that people and dogs die because of African bees. I always thought about it, but I never thought we would have them.
She said that the City Council had been alerted to the danger and they were dispatching bee experts to the scene.
Guadalupe Link We called the City Council and asked them to help us take care of the bees. They got in touch with the owner of the house and the neighborhood, so that they can take care of the bees. What I am afraid of is that school will be open soon and if they don’t get rid of the African Bees - some of the boys, you know how they are stoning down mangos – they will be the ones who will get hurt.
No sooner had she made that comment, when we saw two men pull up to the yard. They assessed the scene and made sure to carefully prepare themselves for the extermination exercise. The ladder was hoisted to the nest and the fumigation process got started. Two other men from the City Council who were assisting the beekeepers found out the hard way why these bees must never be dealt with without proper gear. Although the sting of the Africanized bees is no more potent than any other variety of the honey bee, what makes Africanized bees more dangerous is that they are more easily provoked, quick to swarm, attack in greater numbers and pursue their victims for greater distances. The men were able to recover from the attack after running some distances away and the nest was effectively neutralized.
Africanized bees are easily agitated and may attack up to a quarter of a mile away from the hive. Belmopan residents are strongly encouraged to call the City Council Office, whenever they see bees building a nest and are not certain what kind it is.