A man tragically lost his life in Murang’a County after he was attacked by a swarm of bees at Sabasaba market.
Peter Kimani, a loader at the market, had reported to work on Monday when was stung by thousands of bees.
“We arrived at the market as usual to trade…It was about 6 am when the swarm descended on us. They were in their thousands and their attack was indiscriminate,” said Andrew Kamau, a trader.
Witnesses said as pandemonium erupted and some people scampered for safety, a few men remained steadfast and confronted the invading bees.
“Mr Kimani is said to have been one of the brave men who broke some tree branches and started fighting the bees,” said Murang’a South administrator Martin Mburu.
According to Mburu, the swarm intensified its attacks on the men who had chosen to stand their ground.
“Kimani was overwhelmed because when his colleagues realised they were fighting a losing battle and fled, he was slow to run,” Mburu said.
Overwhelmed by the bee stings, he fell to the ground and fought to crawl away, but his efforts were in vain. Terrified traders and residents watched from a safe distance, unable to intervene.
“The bees later left him and he was rushed to Sabasaba Health Centre where he was pronounced dead,” Mr Kamau recounted.
Administrator Mburu said the bees seemed to have appeared out of nowhere, even though there are some at the market.
“But some bees can be seen around. They are at the market and keeping their peace. This has spread fear among the traders. We have been talking to the county government to see what solution we can offer to restore peace in the market,” he said.
“The most reasonable explanation is that the markets are full of sugary crops and in search of ingredients to enrich their honey, perhaps they invade,” Mburu added.
Another trader, Beatrice Njeri, claimed: “These bees were an army. They did not go to the horticultural section where they could have got their sugar. They came to the main market where hardware is sold. It was an army of attack.”
Meanwhile, Mr. James Wakabera, the Kamahuha MCA, offered his condolences to the affected traders and reassured them that the county administration would take action to combat such invasions in the future.
“The county government is in charge of markets and I will talk to relevant departments to ensure that we put in place mechanisms to fight such invasions. We may need to equip our markets with sprays that can scare away the bees,” the MCA said.