A furious swarm of bees attacked and killed an American pitbull and stung some people in an East London neighbourhood.
An emotional Elaine Markus had to watch bees attacking their family pitbull, Zeak. Picture SINO MAJANGAZA
The bees have left a Morningside community feeling terrified to move outside in case they incite the bees’ wrath.
The swarm found a temporary home in a neighbour’s roof, but despite numerous attempts by the community to have the colony removed, the owner of the house has been criticised for not moving fast enough.
The American pitbull Zeak died after scores of bees stung him to death on Wednesday afternoon.
Zeak’s owner Malcom Markus told the Daily Dispatch he tried all he could to save the dog.
“Zeak was at the back of our yard when he was attacked by the bees. My girlfriend and I tried to help him but the bees were all over him,” he said.
Markus’s elderly mother, Elaine, said she had to watch helplessly while Zeak fought for his life.
Another neighbour, Hamilton Mackay, said he was working in his garden when he was also attacked by the bees. “They stung me all over. My wife who is crippled fell on the ground and she was also attacked.”
Mackay said a few years ago his dog died too. “What really upsets me is that when these things happen the owners of the house don’t come and check up on you,” he said.
Brent Venish, the owner of the house where the colony is, said someone would help to remove the bees today.
“My two dogs also died this week after they were attacked by the bees. These are not my bees. I don’t want them here. I’ve tried to have them removed but they keep coming back,” he said.
Bee expert, Dr Garth Cambray, said bee attacks were common around this time of the year as colonies were getting ready to expand.
“This process is known as swarming. This is when a new honey bee colony is formed,” Cambray said..
“The queen bee leaves the colony together with a large group of worker bees. The bees are busy looking for a new home because the size of the original swarm is expanding.
“A lot of things anger bees – and dogs are on that list.”
Buffalo City Metro spokesman Samkelo Ngwenya said environmental health bylaws stated that people could only keep bees in the BCM area of jurisdiction if they had a permit.
He added that citizens could report people who kept bees in their homes on 043-705-2901/2904/2907.