A man was stung to death after trying to talk to a group of bees he believed to be reincarnations of his ancestors in South Africa.
Nkosentsha Njimbana, 58, died at her home in Zalara, on the outskirts of Qonce, on November 5 after speaking to bees during a traditional ceremony.
In some African cultures, ancestors are believed to visit their living relatives in the form of bees or lizards, often to warn the family to perform the correct traditional rituals.
The bees had nested on Nkosentsha’s property in the Eastern Cape, which his brother said he took as a sign that his ancestors had come to visit him.
In some African cultures, ancestors are believed to visit their living relatives in the form of bees, often to warn the family to perform traditional rituals.
Traditional spokesman Loyiso Nqevu, speaking with News 24He said that the incident reveals the anger of the ancestors.
After consulting a sangoma, a traditional healer among the Zulu peoples, Nkosentsha again performed the ‘ukugxotha iinyosi’ ritual, known as the scattering of bees, to try to interpret his message.
Nqevu said that failure to decipher the ancestors’ message may have caused the bees to turn on him.
“This is the most painful thing that has happened to our family,” said the man’s brother, Mandla. ‘We don’t understand why they were so angry with him, but he had received them at his house. He never tried to drive them away violently.
Ancestor spirits can also reincarnate into water monitor lizards, according to traditional healers.
Nqevu said that once a water monitor lizard or a bee enters a home, the family should consult traditional healers to understand what ceremony should be performed.
One method is for the head of the family to go to the bee hive with a glass of soda, sugar on a saucer and a glass of brandy, and place them in front of the bees, he said.
Many of the ceremonies are expensive and families have to save for months to pay for them.
Xhosa communities, which include former South African leader Nelson Mandela, practice traditional medicine and a number of rituals, including circumcision.
Nkosentsha Njimbana, 58, died at her home in Zalara, on the outskirts of Qonce, on November 5 after speaking to bees during a traditional ceremony. His home in the Eastern Cape, South Africa is shown.
This is the welcoming ceremony. If you are a Xhosa person, you don’t run away and call the municipal workers to remove the bees because the bees are your visitors,” said Nqevu.
The family then makes umqombothi, a type of traditional beer, which takes around four days to brew, before offering it to the bees, he said.
The bees were supposed to fly at this point in the ceremony, but instead they attacked Njimbana.
Nqevu said this is likely because the family may have been too hasty to get rid of the bees without trying to fully understand the ancestor’s message.
Eastern Cape Police spokesman Brigadier Thembinkosi Kinana said Tamara police have launched an investigation.
The Buffalo City Metro Township has urged people to call their zoo and marine unit to remove bees from their homes.
Bee strings often have phosphate venom which can cause blood to clot and eventually. Multiple bites can be fatal within half an hour without medical treatment.
Siani Tinley, general manager of metro zoos and marine services, said hiring bee removers or professional beekeepers was the only way to safely dispose of bees.
“Both animals and people die from too many bee stings, and bees become quite aggressive very quickly when an inexperienced person uses poison or another substance to kill them,” Tinley said.
‘Beekeepers know how to read bees and how to relocate them in an environmentally friendly way.’
Bee strings often have phospholipase venom that can cause blood clotting.
Multiple bites can be fatal within half an hour without medical treatment, and the venom causes difficulty breathing, swollen tongue, nausea, unconsciousness, and ultimately death.