Natural disasters such as tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes and flash floods obviously cause a great degree of destruction as well loss of human life. Unfortunately, natural disasters can lead to other seemingly unrelated disasters. Strangely enough, many of the problems that arise in the aftermath of a natural disaster involve insects. For example, hurricanes, typhoons, tsunamis and floods all lead to an increase in mosquitoes, as mosquitoes congregate around water in order to reproduce. Also, the balmy conditions that result from water-related disasters are ideal for mosquitoes to thrive. The relationship between increased mosquito populations and water-related disasters has been supported anecdotally and by scientific studies. Also, several studies have been published that have established a link between increased termite infestations and post-hurricane conditions. The latest link between insects and natural disasters is coming from Hong Kong where numerous citizens have sustained bee stings in the aftermath of a major typhoon.
On September 16th, Hong Kong was struck by a major typhoon that took down trees, homes and buildings. Luckily, the typhoon is over, but Hongkongers are now at risk of falling victim to bee attacks, as many of the damaged trees contained bee hives. Hong Kong is now full of homeless bees that are likely perturbed by the loss of their hives. Many victims of bee attacks in Hong Kong have described their attacks online, and several people have witnessed disturbing bee attacks in the streets located in particularly busy regions of the Chinese territory. Medical professionals have confirmed a startling increase in bee attack victims in the emergency rooms of many Hong Kong hospitals. Several medical professionals have recommended that parents keep their children indoors to protect them from bee attacks. According to Dr. Eddie Yuen Cheuk-pun, the emergency room where he works saw a total of 20 bee sting victims within a mere 12 hour period. The medical sector lawmaker, Dr Pierre Chan Pui-yin, claimed massive bee invasions have occurred elsewhere before, such as in Jordan, but they are very rare. The vice chairman of the Hong Kong entomological society claims that the attacks are occuring due to bees trying to protect their hives. Simply walking past a hidden bee hive that has been damaged is enough for a person to sustain life-threatening stings. This is also the time of year when bee hives are at their most populous, as bee hives are built early in the summer and steadily grow in colony-size until dying-off during the fall.
Do you think more instances of mass bee invasions will increase as the weather becomes increasingly erratic as a result of climate change?