The New Times (Kigali)

10 January 2013

Rwanda: Ngoma Man Killed After Bees Attack

A MAN in Ngoma has died following an attack from bees.

The middle-aged man was stung by a swarm of bees while cutting down a tree during chores as a casual farm labourer, sources said. Apparently, the tree he was cutting fell on him.

Family members told The New Times that the farmer lost consciousness after the swarm of bees attacked.

Jean Claude Habimana, a neighbor of the deceased, said the man was not breathing properly by the time rescuers arrived at the scene.

He said they never even knew the hive was there, adding that the fateful scene is on the side of the farmland that is rarely used.

"We are shocked by the untimely death of our neighbour, who was felling a tree, little knowing that it had a hive on it. The tree fell on him as the bees attack intensified. It was a very ugly scenario," Habimana said.

"Bee hives are scattered all over villages, which lives us in a precarious position. Bee farming need some reorganisation to make it more useful; it should be a blessing and not a curse," Habimana added.

The district mayor, Aphrodise Nambaje, confirmed the incident and warned residents of the potential dangers posed by bees.

Mayor urges caution

"I want to make it clear to all people in our communities that bees kill. In fact, we have had a number of bee victims. It is high time the people recognised the dangers of haphazard bee farming," he said.

Ntambaje said bee farming is lucrative, adding that it has attracted many people to the area. He said a litre of honey costs Rwf2,000 in rural areas, while it goes up to above Rwf3,000 in urban areas.

"Honey sells like hot cake, which is why everyone wants a hive next to his home. Unfortunately, in the process to make money, people lose lives, particularly children," he said.

Meanwhile, sources said three children in the same area succumbed to similar attacks a few weeks ago. However, this newspaper could not independently verify the claims.

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