In a freak incident, a swarm of honey bees irked by a drone left Karnataka Forest Minister B Ramanath Rai and other top officials with painful stings. So much so that they, along with some students, had to be rushed to the hospital.
The incident occurred on Friday in Belagavi when the minister was inaugurating a biodiversity park near the Visvesvaraya Technological University.
Present along with Rai were MP Suresh Angadi, Principal Secretary of Forest Department Vijaykumar Gogi, Chief Conservator of Forest Krishna Udapudi among other senior officers and students of a local government school.
A private company tasked with filming the event had engaged a drone camera to do it. But as soon as the drone hovered near a beehive, the insects came out in numbers causing pandemonium.
"Honey bees were disturbed by the drone's sound. Only one bee stung the forest minister. Belagavi range forest officer Shrinath Kadolkar and working plan deputy forest conservator KS Hiremath sustained injuries due to multiple stings and went to a private hospital for treatment. They're out of danger," Basavaraj Patil, District Forest Conservator told TOI.
Deccan Herald reported that Suresh Angadi had to halt his speech due to the incident and Minister Rai suffered injuries near his eyes.
What happens after a bee sting?
Venom is injected into the human body through a bite. Mostly victims suffer localised reactions which include reddening of skin and swelling. The pain associated with the sting disappears within some hours in most cases. But sometimes the stinger gets left behind which needs to be removed immediately with fingers or tweezers without breaking the sac.
The bitten area should be cleaned with soap water and antiseptic can be applied. Ice can also be put in the area to reduce pain.
According to a paper for Association of Physicians of India by Tarun Kumar Dutta and V Mukta, bee stings are common in tropical countries such as India. But close to 1% children and 3% adults are likely to develop anaphylaxis (life threatening allergic reaction).
People who are allergic to bee stings can experience abdominal cramping, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and difficulty in breathing.