Two Westbrook families in KwaZulu-Natal were deeply disturbed after they recently watched a family dog being stung to death by a swarm of bees that came from a vacant plot.
Alistair and Jessica Vandayar described the events that unfolded in their backyard in Acacia Crescent as tragic.
Children who witnessed the entire incident have struggled to sleep since, North Coast Courier reported.
“My wife and I were at work at the time, and my daughter did not go to school as she was ill. She heard my two four-year-old Cocker Spaniel dogs yelping outside, and when she looked, she saw that the bees were attacking one of the dogs.”
Alistair’s daughter Tiara called their neighbours Ravi Govender and Michele Koen for help. Koen said, although she was allergic to bees, she tried her best to save the dog.
“One of the dogs Ella, which was pregnant, luckily ran up the road a distance away from the house.
“Milo had taken cover in his kennel, and it looked as though he had given up fighting and accepted that to save everyone, he had to take the stings.”
As Ravi Govender tried to chase the bees away with a garden hose, and they managed to get Milo out of the kennel, but the bees would not give up.
“We hosed him down, but it did not work. We called the fire department, and we were told there was nothing that could be done. At one point we brought Milo into the house to try and get him away from the bees. The bees followed and we were stung as well.”
Michele said: “I have seen many horrible things but this was one of the most traumatic days of my life.”
Milo had started frothing at the mouth and was taken to a vet where he later died. The ordeal lasted for about five hours.
The owners blamed the incident on an unkempt, vacant plot in the area that has also sparked complaints from members of the retirement village next door.
“That place is a health hazard and we do not know who the owner is. For the six years that we have been living here, the plot has only been cleared out once. We complained to the municipality but we were told it could take up to three months before they clear it out and bill the owner. There are snakes, bees, flies, spiders and who knows what else living there.”
Bee expert Melvyn Dawson said the only option a person being attacked by a swarm has is to run through a bushy area as this could distract the bees.
“It is common for people to spray Doom on them but this makes them terribly aggressive,” he said.
The families believe the landowner should be held responsible for the cost of the incident.
“I spent more than R10 000 on vet costs and to get a bee expert to come in and take the bees away.”
“If it was not my dog that was attacked then it could have been my children,” said Alistair.
The plot is registered to the name Aldabri 118 (Pty) Ltd. The registered contact number does not exist.
Ward 58 Westbrook councillor Geoff Pullan said the residents needed to contact him with their concerns and that he would approach the eThekweni council.
– Caxton News Service