8 kids, driver stung as bees swarm into taxi

Johannesburg - Eight children, aged between 5 and 7, and a taxi driver were stung by a swarm of bees in Benoni, east of Johannesburg on Tuesday, paramedics said.

"Reports from the scene indicate that [the taxi]... was travelling along Jones Road when a moving swarm of bees came through the windows and stung the children and the driver," Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said.

Paramedics worked to stabilise the children. One child and the driver were critical while another child was in a serious condition, said Botha.

They were treated on the scene before being transported to a local hospital.

Botha said at this time of year bee colonies split up and moved to start new hives. It was commonly referred to as swarming season.

"As a rule these do not pose a threat and often can be seen flying across the sky looking like a big black cloud," he said.

"The problem however is when they go across roads and hit into vehicles and people. As one bee starts to sting as a defence mechanism, it gives off a pheromone which causes the rest of the bees to go into an attack mode."

Botha advised that if motorists spot the bees they keep their windows closed.

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