A swarm of Africanized bees attacked the students at “Colegio Rogers Hall”, located on Calle 32, Fraccionamiento Campestre, here in Mérida, and forced them to evacuate the premises.
According to data collected in the scene, African bees attacked some of the students on campus although the number of people affected is not known.
Elements of the SSP, Firefighters, Paramedics and staff of the Ministry of Health came to the school to help. The students were moved to a safe area in Prolongación Paseo de Montejo and Calle 21, Fraccionamiento Campestre, so their parents could come to pick them up.
To avoid any major incident, classes were suspended at the school. Calle 32 was closed during the proceedings.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AVOIDING OR SURVIVING AN AFRICAN BEE ATTACK
1. Listen! If you hear the loud hum of bees ahead, backtrack! Slowly go back the way you came. If it’s noisy because of cicadas, waterfalls or whatever, you have lost your early warning system and should be extremely cautious.
2. Don’t use lemony (citrus) or flowery scents. Any of the following, if scented, may provoke an attack: perfume, deodorant, hair spray, hair gel, cologne, aftershave, soap, shampoo, even chewing gum! Some say the smell of a freshly mown lawn will infuriate Africanized bees.
3. Don’t wear black or yellow.
4. Be quiet! If you’re in the danger zone, they only need to hear you to attack you.
5. Remove or cover shiny objects such as carabiners, harness parts, earrings, rings, etc.
6. Wear long pants and have a windbreaker handy (tie it around your waist if it’s hot). Wear a hat with a chin strap. Put a beekeeper’s veil (or your own homemade version of one) as well as a pair of gloves (very handy in the thorny Mexican bush) into your backpack.
7. Carry Avapena, enough for all members of the hiking group. If stung, take one pill and head for a hospital.
8. Run! Bees can’t fly as fast as people can run. Don’t jump in a lake (They will wait for you).
9. Smoke! Smoke always scares them away, even if it’s coming from a single cigarette.
10. Scrape to remove stings. Use a credit card or knife blade. Don’t pull out with your fingers as this will squeeze more venom into the victim. Tweezers can be very useful.
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