On Monday April 15th, 2013, Africanized bees attacked and stung four persons in Little Belize in the Corozal District. Two young boys, 4 and 5, were stung during the attack. The four year old died after he was viciously stung by more than 500 bees. Over the weekend a 66 year old man from the Village of Paraiso in the Corozal District suffered the same faith as the four year old after he was attacked by a swarm of killer bees and was stung multiple times. Reporter Victor Castillo has that story.

picVictor Castillo – Reporting

On Saturday September 13th, 66 year old Gilberto Manzanilla, a resident of Paraiso Village in the Corozal District met a painful death after he accidentally rode into a swarm of Africanized killer bees and was stung multiple times while coming back from his farm located in the outskirts of Paraiso.

The 66 year old, who lived alone in the village, was rushed to the Corozal Community Hospital by another man who was in the vicinity and heard Manzanilla’s cries for help. That individual was also stung by the bees, but unlike Manzanilla he is lucky to be alive. Officer Commanding the Corozal Police Formation, Andrew Ramirez, spoke to us about their findings into the investigation so far.

Andrew Ramirez – OC Corozal 

“The investigation reveals that about 11:45 on the 13th on September, Mr. Manzanilla was riding his bicycle on an unnamed street within the village of Paraiso near the cemetery where he was attacked by a swarm of what we believe to be Africanize Bees or normally known as Killer Bees as a result he was taken to the Corozal Community Hospital where earlier he succumbed to his injuries, the doctor they did an examination and they found out that he died due to cardio respiratory arrest as a consequence of multiple bees stings.”

According to reports and studies, Africanized Bees migrate in hives of an estimated 40,000. And this could have been the amount that attacked Manzanilla. According to Barry Palacio, Officer in charge of the Ministry of Agriculture in Corozal, killer bees attack when a member of the hive comes under threat or is exterminated.

Barry Palacio – Dept. Ministry of Agriculture

“The worst thing that anybody would do is to kill any bee that lands on them because whenever this happens it triggers an alarms system on the rest of the swarm and will actually go an attack that person.”

With the overwhelming amount of bees migrating Palacio advices the general public not to attempt eradicating the bees while on their own.

Barry Palacio – Dept. Ministry of Agriculture

“I want to inform the general public that in the case of Africanize bees it is wise that they get in touch with the agriculture department and the number is 402-2297 if and when a swarm of bees is sited we recommend that they immediately get in touch with the agriculture department and do not attempt to eradicate the bees on your own, under my watch we have responded to information in regards to bee swarms and the department has been active in the eradication of these Africanize bees so I want to take this opportunity to again get in touch with the agriculture department.”

Presently a team from the Department of the Ministry of Agriculture is out in the area searching for the hive to be exterminated. Manzanilla, was laid to rest yesterday in the Village of Paraiso.

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