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Apr 16, 2013

Killer bees, four year old from Little Belize dead

A four year old boy suffered a horrific death on Monday afternoon. He and his five year old sibling were stung repeatedly by a swarm of killer bees from a hive attached to a nearby tree. By the time Enrique and Pedro Thiessen reached the closest hospital to Little Belize, Enrique had lost his life. The doctor found bees inside his mouth and nose. Two adults were also attacked by the killer bees. News Five’s Duane Moody reports from the Corozal District.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The Thiessen family from Little Belize, a Mennonite community in southern Corozal District, is mourning the death of a four year old after he was stung several times to the head and body by killer bees. Enrique Thiessen along with his older brother, five year old Pedro, was playing in the backyard near this tree when the swarm of deadly bees attacked them. Jacobo Thiessen, their father says that their screams alerted him that something was terribly wrong.


Jacobo Thiessen, Father of Deceased (Translated)

Jacobo Thiessen

“My kids went in the back yard and African bees stung them there, but I did not know that there were bees there. I heard a lot of screams coming from the back. I ran to them along with my neighbor. A second neighbor also came to our aid. We went to help, but we only rescued the one that is alive here and the other was left there in the bushes with the bees. I called for the pickup to come look for us and after I told my relatives to go look for the other one that was left behind in the bushes and covered in bees. When they found him, he was already dead.”


Fifteen miles from the nearest hospital in Orange Walk Town… but the entire family rushed to the Northern Medical Plaza. Pediatrician, Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez, received and attended to the two siblings, their father and a neighbor who rendered assistance. All four had been stung by the bees. But Enrique had bees lodged inside his mouth and Doctor Mendez believes he suffered respiratory failure which inevitably led to his death.


Marco Tulio Mendez

Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, Pediatrician

“Around two o’clock in the after, there were four patients that reach—two adults and two children. Well the child, four years and five years. Unfortunately, when they came in some of them were in critical condition due the bee stings that they had experienced in Little Belize. The five year old had a lot of bee stings and we had to give the treatment, put him through an IV drips and some treatment provided. But the four year old that came, came without heartbeat, but I can see that he had recently died. Tried to resuscitate and do whatever was possible but unfortunately I was not able. And I could see what was the cause of the death. What happened is that when I opened the mouth and I saw through the nose, there were lots of bees coming out from the nose and the mouth—that that is one of the ways on how children die immediately or adults. It is very important that when we are attacked by bees that we cover the nose and our mouth because when they go through there, they can cause a lot of swelling and the patient could have breathing difficulty and die. And so that was what happened unfortunately with the baby.”


While they mourn the passing of Enrique, Pedro’s life is also in danger. Doctor Mendez says that there is a seventy-two hours observation period and so far the prognosis is promising.


Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez

“For the five year old, he is still in critical condition. He has blood in his urine; I could see that those are the complications that can come after bee stings. The adults that came in; there were two of them, the father and a relative. They came in with vomiting, very dehydrated, nauseated, sweating. We had to treat them; they are okay. They did not have too much bee stings. But the five year old that we have right now, he is still in critical condition, his face is swollen and we will be monitoring to see how he is doing.”


According to Jacobo, it is not the first time that persons have been stung by African bees.  Unfortunately this time, his son was killed in this incident.


Jacobo Thiessen (Translated)

“There were other incidents, but it didn’t kill anyone. The person was only stung.”


Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez

“More or less the quantity of stings that could be fatal, that could cause the death of a child is more or less about five hundred and in adults its more or less about one thousand. But those are the complications that will come within seventy-two hours. It is not an allergic reaction that happens after bee stings, it is the quantity—it’s called envenomination, like venom—because of the quantity of chemicals that they let into the body that it starts to cause problems; even other organs could be affected. The kidney could be affected, the liver could be affected, the heart could be affected. The first seventy-two hours and that is what we are trying to avoid and be aware that nothing complicates itself.”


The Ministry of Agriculture and BAHA have since visited the location of the attack to deal with the situation. Duane Moody for News Five.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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4 Responses for “Killer bees, four year old from Little Belize dead”

  1. Lift up your head says:

    So sad indeed. my condolences goes out to your family

  2. nationview says:

    The Ministry of Health needs to look at this very serious and see how it can work with the Minister of Agriculture to control the african bees. During the past administration of the country, there was a very good program in controlling these bee’s but seems that the new administration has overlooked the dangers of african bee’s. This is very serious and the recording of one death makes it more serious.

  3. OriginalWoman says:

    My condolences to the family. This is a very sad story.

  4. Seletar says:

    @Nationview is right, GOB needs to revive a serious program to eliminate the African bees as much as possible, before another Belizean dies unnecessarily.

    Condolences to the family, too. I know the baby’s soul is already with God.

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