Port of Spain Mayor Joel Martinez – Angelo Marcelle
PORT of Spain mayor Joel Martinez is awaiting a report on the Carnival Monday attack by a swarm of bees on masqueraders in Harts band along Ariapita Avenue, en route to the judging point at Victoria Square.
In a video posted to social media, a man was seen being chased by the bees near the corner of Stone Street and Ariapita Avenue. He removed his T-shirt to rid himself of the insects.
People there called the Port of Spain City Corporation, which in turn alerted the fire services.
Officer Earl Samson said the incident stemmed from two swarms of bees living in trees, which were provoked by the decibel levels of music trucks.
The officers recommended that the band choose an alternative route, since masqueraders were unwilling to continue without music.
Martinez said, “I was told bees attacked a masquerader. I understand the Ministry of Agriculture was contacted and they may have approached the situation and dealt with it.
“I understand the loud music would have irritated the bees, and that caused them to get into a tizzick sort of situation. They were affected and those (masqueraders) who were nearby were attacked.”
Martinez said he was unaware of anyone being hospitalised and believed the people affected were okay thereafter.
Band owner Dean Ackin and others in Harts could not be reached by phone for comment on Thursday.
Beekeeping expert Khafre Pilgrim of Pharaoh Apiaries said Africanised bees, which are found in Trinidad, are known for their aggression. Not endemic here, the bees migrated from South America. He said they were superior honey-producers, resistant to parasites and have a shorter gestational period than the European bees which are found in Tobago.
Trinidad and Tobago Beekeeping Association president Nneka Braveboy said there are often calls for the removal of bees, but the organisation was not contacted on Carnival Monday.
“We realised the Ministry of Agriculture acted on it immediately. We only saw the footage later.
“Nonetheless, I am letting the general public know we are very active as an organisation. We safely removed the bees and relocated them to happy homes. We are here to assist if there is ever a situation. Our members are all over Trinidad, just find our contact on Facebook.”