Fatally Attacked by Swarm of Bees: A chilling incident unfolded on a farm in Alto Paranaíba, Brazil, as a swarm of enraged bees launched a vicious assault on a farmworker, tragically resulting in his death. The man, while carrying out his duties, fell victim to the relentless stings on Sunday.
His fellow farmworker discovered him unconscious and promptly rushed him to a local emergency room. Despite desperate efforts to save him, the man succumbed to the venomous effects of the stings on Monday, according to local news outlet Estado de Minas.
This unsettling event echoes a similar occurrence last month in São Paulo, Brazil, where a farmworker required hospitalization after enduring over a thousand bee stings. Additionally, six individuals, including an 8-year-old girl, lost their lives in Nicaragua in May when their bus disturbed a swarm of deadly Africanized bees.
When bees sting, they jab their barbed stingers into the skin, injecting venom into the tissue. This venom contains proteins and enzymes that target the body’s immune system upon entry.
Typically, a single bee sting results in a painful welt, accompanied by itching and minor swelling. However, individuals who are allergic or suffer multiple stings may experience far more severe, and potentially fatal, reactions.
Survival limits usually hover around ten bee stings per pound of body weight, with the average adult tolerating a maximum of approximately 1,100 stings.
According to Estado de Minas, the unfortunate victim was allergic to bee stings.
Non-life-threatening allergy symptoms include hives, nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, and swelling away from the sting site. Anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction, can manifest as swelling of the mouth or throat, shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, and shock, as outlined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Bees typically swarm in response to provocation, such as disturbances to their hives caused by noise, vibrations, or relocation. The enraged insects perceive anything as a threat and launch coordinated attacks.
While the precise bee species involved in the Brazilian attack remains unconfirmed, it is highly likely that they were Africanized honey bees. These bees, a hybrid of European honey bees and African bees imported to Brazil in the 1950s, have claimed over 1,000 lives in Brazil alone.
The USDA advises individuals in the face of a bee swarm to swiftly run away, covering their head and face with clothing or arms to protect their eyes, nose, and ears. If possible, seek shelter indoors and avoid entering bodies of water, as the bees will patiently wait for resurfacing victims.
Furthermore, swatting at bees should be avoided, as it only exacerbates their aggression. Crushing a bee emits a scent that attracts more of these insects.
Once safely indoors, the USDA advises promptly removing any stingers embedded in the skin to prevent additional venom release.