Boy, 7, found dead after bee attack

2012-02-01 11:08

Pietermaritzburg - A KwaZulu-Natal family is mourning the death of a 7-year-old boy who was found dead after being attacked by bees - but have been told he may have died of a broken neck rather than stings.

Simphiwe Mlaba and his friends were collecting honey over the weekend near France township when a swarm they disturbed gave chase.

His aunt, Velile Mlaba, said paramedics put his death down to a broken neck.

“He was not swollen and the paramedics said they believe that he had broken his neck,” she said.

“We are not sure whether it was the bees that killed him or he died as he tried to flee,” she added.

Simphiwe, a Grade 2 pupil at Slangspruit Primary School, was found dead in the field near his home on Sunday.


He and his friends had gone on their honey-gathering expedition the day before.

On Monday, his family, neighbours and close friends gathered at his home.

His clothes, a shirt and shorts, lay on a grass mat on the floor with a candle lit next to them - a sign that a child had died.

His aunt said the family had been left distraught by the loss of a child, so young and with so much potential.

Velile Mlaba said all his family knew was that he died after going to collect honey.

She said that when the bees attacked “all the kids fled and they apparently did not notice that Simphiwe had been left behind”.

“When his father came home from work he noticed that he was missing and he searched for him,” said the aunt.

“His friends and the neighbours had not seen him.

“When he could not find him the following day, he thought that he might have visited me, as he does from time to time.”

When Simphiwe was found, two bees were inside his shirt.

Velile Mlaba said no date had yet been set for the funeral as the family were struggling to raise the funds.

Police spokesperson Joey Jeevan confirmed the incident and said the police were investigating the circumstances.

  • Ndivhuho - 2012-02-01 11:19

    Rest in peace little one.

      Mhlophe - 2012-02-01 11:50


  • SGL - 2012-02-01 11:28

    How very tragic. My thoughts and prayers with his family and friends. RIP.

  • Gcwabe-KaMavovo - 2012-02-01 11:39

    Sad story. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain of losing a child. I have a 2 year old and it would just kill me inside. Condolences to the family.

  • Marcell - 2012-02-01 12:01

    Very sad but at the same time one sting can cause your death. That is the reality of it. We get all dressed up when we work with the bees. They are magnificent and it is good to have a hive in the remote part of your property. Work at night, not when it is warm or windy. Use a red light and see how they work.

  • Gcwabe-KaMavovo - 2012-02-01 12:39

    Some trolls know no bound. Why would anybody thumbs-down a condolence message?

  • Penny - 2012-02-01 12:44

    Ok so the bees didnt break his neck did they? and he was found in the middle of a field, unless he fell out of a tree trying to get to the hive, one has'nt usually break one's neck in an open field....

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