The neighborhood of San Miguel in Cozumel was in virtual lockdown on the evening of Sunday April 12th, when residents came under the attack of a swarm of angry bees.
Four members of a family in the CTM neighborhood were hospitalized after the bees entered their home and attacked them, around 6:00 pm. A firefighter was also hospitalized, while the family’s three dogs died from multiple bee stings.
Authorities yellow taped several blocks to avoid further attacks, and urged residents to remain in their homes with doors and windows closed.
When firefighters were called to the scene they found the bees had focused their attack on one home, where the family, including two children aged 9 and 14, remained trapped inside. They were rescued by emergency personnel and transferred to a local hospital.
Three hours later, the situation was under control after the bees were exterminated.
There were at least three reports of similar attacks in February in Quintana Roo and Yucatán.
In Merida, Yucatán, an attack was reported at a private school during the month of January, also twelve people suffered multiple stings when a swarm of bees attacked a psychiatric hospital a couple of weeks later.
While in Playa del Carmen, two were hospitalized when a swarm attacked about a dozen people outside a shopping center in Santa Fe.
In Cancún, three employees of a daycare center were attacked and hospitalized.
In all cases the insects were described as Africanized bees, also known as “killer bees”.
Health authorities in Yucatán reported last month there were eight deaths in the state last year as a result of attacks by Africanized bees.
The insects are the result of a cross between European and African bees and combine the best and worst of both, according to Geo-Mexico. Once disturbed, they react 10 times faster than European bees and can pursue a human victim for as far as 300-400 meters.
An agitated Africanized bee will also attack anything it deems offensive as far as 400 meters from its hive, says a report on bee attacks in Mexico by the website Saudicaves, while another source reports they can stay angry for days.
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