South African bees are more attacking than English bees


Pierre Hefer, a renowned Beekeeper in South Africa was surprised to hear that a swarm of bees landed at the Riverside Ground (Chester le Steet) and briefly halted the World Cup match between Sri Lanka and South Africa on Friday.

Bees attacked during South Africa vs Sri Lanka clash, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019
Bees attacked during South Africa vs Sri Lanka clash, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

Interestingly, Hefer in 2017 had watched the Pink ODI on TV at his home in Johannesburg, like it was yesterday, and then raced to Wanderers cricket ground to help clear the bees and get the game under way. He still has that same swarm at his home and harvests honey from them with fond memories every summer.

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Speaking exclusively over telephone from South Africa, he said, “It would seem that whenever these two great nations face off at the game of cricket there is a buzz in the air and not the normal buzz  that one would expect”.
In media it is quoted that “Thankfully, no one was bitten.” which is of course said as a joke as we all know that the fear of bees is related to their venomous sting rather than an almost not effective bite”.

“Bees often move during hot summer days when either the swarm outgrows their hive or the hive is somehow damaged or less attractive to the queen and she decides to abscond, tanking her 5 000 to 50 000 swarm with her. The bees are not generally defensive when they are moving like this as they don’t have a brood to protect but they do react to the pheromones released when any one bee stings. The difference between the Bees at Wanderers in South Africa and those at Riverside Ground in England is that the African bees will attack is massive numbers and will not easily stop unless the perceived threat moves away from them, often by a few kilometres. This earns the African bee the unfair and dramatic name of “Killer Bees”.

“There is no way to prevent a swarm of bees landing absolutely anywhere, never mind on a nice open cricket pitch in the middle of a warm day. They were probably just re-grouping and getting ready for their next flight, but it is nevertheless a pretty frightening site”, he added further.

“I wish that I could have been there to experience this rare phenomenon again. The English beekeepers are however extremely competent and I have the highest respect for their skills”, he concluded.

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