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Jan 23, 2018

Killer Bees Strike Down Omar Cruz in Unitedville

Residents of Unitedville in the Cayo District are calling on authorities to tend to an abandoned building containing a swarm of Africanized or “killer” bees which severely stung a senior citizen ten days ago. Sixty-two year old Omar Cruz was at work in his property when the swarm attacked without warning, leaving him severely injured on the ground for some time before police could get him to hospital. He passed on over the weekend. News Five’s Aaron Humes has more.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

It was a quiet Saturday morning in the village of Unitedville on what turned out to be a day of horror for the family of sixty-two year old Omar Cruz. He was busy cleaning up a portion of his property, son in tow, using a weed eater. That property is next to this building, the abandoned community health post office. It is now home to a swarm of killer bees, which fell on Cruz and his two dogs ferociously. Fortunately his son was elsewhere and unharmed, but Cruz was not so lucky. His neighbor Sherlene Myvett says that the sooner the building and the hive is destroyed, the better, as the area is highly trafficked by residents including school children and even tourists.

 

Sherlene Myvett

Sherlene Myvett, Neighbor

“The use of the road is that so many children go to school in the morning at eight o’clock, eight-thirty. There are so many children that are passing by. Many people use the road; tourists use the road for the Lower Dover [tourist attraction.] It’s very dangerous because the bees are still in the house? The man is dead and the bees are still in the house.”

 

Reporter

“Now what is that house normally used for?”

 

Sherlene Myvett

“It was never used for anything; it was built there and they claim that it is a health center. It [was] never used for a health center though. It is [being] used now for a beehive instead, and that beehive is not good for us, because it is killing us now.”

 

Village chairman Mike Juan says no villagers told him that the bees had returned.

 

Mike Juan

Mike Juan, Chairman, Unitedville

“The house is there; it’s abandoned, but I always keep it clean. I went once already and almost burnt down the building because of the [bees]. But nobody came back and said, chairman, the [bees] are in there. Because I don’t know!  If someone comes and reports to me I will make sure it happens, you know. But as I said, I did not think that the [bees] were there again and no one came and said, chairman, the [bees] are still there.”

 

Now that he knows, Juan has called for assistance from the Belize Agricultural Health Authority, but he also has a back-up plan.

 

Mike Juan

“I am waiting… I’ve called already for BAHA and I’m waiting for someone to come and if they do not come I will get someone privately to come and deal with it and get rid of the [bees] today or tomorrow; the latest tomorrow. I’ll make sure someone comes and deal with the [bees].”

 

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

 

The family of Omar Cruz declined to appear on camera as they are still shaken by the sudden ordeal that hit their family. Funeral arrangements will be announced in the next few days.

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