A man was seriously injured when he was attacked by a swarm of bees and stung more than a hundred times in Cosmo City.
According to Emer-G-Med spokesperson Kyle van Reenen, the man was attacked on Monday afternoon as he was walking past the hive.
“Paramedics responded to the scene in the Cosmo City area, to find the one man had suffered over one hundred stings and was in a critical condition,” Van Reenen said.
He said advanced Life Support intervention was needed to stabilise the man before he was taken to a nearby hospital for further care.
“A second man suffered approximately ten stings and was treated and stabilized on the scene before being taken to hospital for further care.
“Reports from the scene allege that the first man was attacked by the bees when he was walking past the hive, the second man then ran to his aid,” Van Reenen said.
Bees don’t actually particularly want to sting humans. The act of stinging kills the bee, after all. A swarm of bees, even if it’s coming in your direction, doesn’t always mean they’re after you: they could simply be on route to somewhere else. Get out of their way as quickly as possible, though, just in case.
Get under cover fast. Going indoors is best, but failing that, get into a car or a tent, or cover yourself with a blanket or clothing – especially exposed areas of skin. The face and eyes are the most important areas to protect.
When running away from a swarm, try to run in a straight line and keep your face as well covered as possible.
Do not, however, get into the water, however tempting an option this may appear. The bees know you’re there and can wait for you at the surface longer than you can hold your breath.
Water can be useful in spray form: if bees are attacking, and you have a hose available, turn it in their direction. But only do this if there’s no other option; you’re still likely to get stung.
Even when the swarm is passing by, stay calm and still. Don’t hit out at the bees or attempt to “shoo” them away. This could encourage them to sting in self-defense.
An unfortunate pheromonal chain reaction occurs: if a bee stings, it releases chemicals that then trigger stinging in its mates. For bees, it’s all about individual sacrifice for the good of the community.
Once you’ve escaped the main onslaught of the hive, remove any stings as soon as possible. The best way to remove them is to scrape them off using an implement like a butter knife or a credit card. But speed is more important than finding the proper tool: pull them out with your fingers if necessary.
Anyone who’s suffered multiple stings should consult a doctor without delay (whether there is a known bee allergy or not). Signs of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) e.g. difficulty breathing, are a medical emergency.