A bus accident resulted in the deaths of six people, who were the victims of a swarm of Africanized bees.
On May 8, a bus carrying around 45 passengers experienced a mechanical failure and plunged several feet down a ravine in northwest Nicaragua, finally coming to rest in a coffee plantation. Though all passengers initially survived the crash, a swarm of agitated bees attacked them after the bus collided with several beehives.
The victims included five adults between the ages of 19 and 84, and an eight-year-old girl. Fourteen others people received severe injuries from the bee attack.
Local firefighters had to use foam to subdue the swarm and evacuate the passengers of the bus.
Africanized honey bees, also known as “killer bees,” are a dangerous hybrid species created by the interbreeding of African honey bees and European honey bees. Brazil introduced African honey bees in 1956 to increase honey production, but some bees escaped in 1957 and mated with European honey bees.
Since the mid-1950s, these hybrid bees have caused over 1,000 documented deaths in Brazil and have spread to other countries, including Nicaragua and the United States.
In 2014, an Arizona landscaper died after being attacked by 800,000 Africanized bees in a house’s attic.
In 2018, a swarm of these potentially lethal insects descended upon a Walmart in Wallis, Texas, resulting in a man’s hospitalization.