NATIONAL NEWS - A mother watched in horror as a swarm of angry bees attacked her stepfather and the family’s pet on Tuesday morning in Aquadene, later killing three dogs and leaving four people suffering.
Jessica Goodman was indoors with her three-month-old baby, Christian, when she heard her father frantically banging on the door and a swarm of bees buzzing into the house windows.
Jessica, who is allergic to bees and has had previous bad experiences with these insects, said she went into shock and panic when she opened her curtains and saw the swarm of bees circling her back yard.
Anthony Williamson had been working in the garage and heard their dog crying; when he went to investigate he found bees had attacked it.
He was also attacked while trying to escape the swarm.
‘The area was covered in bees, they created a whirlwind around our dog Butch and a dark cloud over the entire backyard.
‘My father ran down the street and was followed by the swarm; they stung him numerous times all over his body,’ said Jessica.
‘I quickly covered all open spaces, under the doors and closed vents, and locked myself and the baby in a room before calling my husband and other family members for help.
‘I could hear people screaming as they ran past in the street but there was nothing I could do to help them.
‘During the frantic ordeal, my husband came around the corner and found my dad trying to fend off the bees several houses down the road, and he was attacked as well.
‘The bees were attacking people walking down the street while other neighbours tried to cordon off the street, deterring people from going past.
‘I started frantically searching the internet for contacts of beekeepers or pest control experts and Pest Control Specialists Zululand came to our rescue.
‘Despite them not specialising in bees, they offered support over the phone while other staff members rushed to our house to assist.
‘A beekeeper from Honey Farm came out to assist us too.
‘We were told our dog had passed away and the bee keeper cleared the area and returned later in the day to smoke them out as well.
‘Two community members were also severely stung while trying to help us, and our immediate neighbour’s two dogs were sadly killed by the bees as well,’ Jessica said.
It is still unknown what startled the bees but the family later discovered the bees had made their home under some rubble in the corner of their yard and must have been there for a long time.
While they had seen bees around the yard before, they had no idea they had created a colony and were producing honey in the old wooden cupboards.
Buckets of honey were harvested by family and community members.
Goodman said the timing of the incident was only by God’s grace as her two year old daughter and the community’s children who usually play along the street or in her yard, were all safely at school.