x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

What to do when killer bees strike

In the wake of a bee attack on a baseball field, a reader offers some advice. Other subjects: modest clothes, drink-driving and terrorism.

A reader passes on some tips about killer bees from apiarist John Potom, who recently tackled a swarm at a baseball game. Mark J Terrill / AP
A reader passes on some tips about killer bees from apiarist John Potom, who recently tackled a swarm at a baseball game. Mark J Terrill / AP

I am writing in reply to your Kit Bag blog post, Swarm makes beeline to watch Angels and Mariners MLB game (September 24).

The bees mentioned are of the species Apis mellifera, sometimes known as the “killer bee”.

This highly invasive and aggressive species is a hybrid created in 1956 in Brazil by a scientist trying to create a type of bee to produce larger quantities of honey.

As is so often the case, some of the bees escaped the laboratory and, as they are highly adaptable, they started to displace local species in search of habitat.

These bees are able to withstand great ranges in temperature and have continued to extend their range further north, travelling across the United States.

They enjoy pursuing moving targets and therefore games such as the one they disturbed in Los Angeles are a highlight in their existence.

In fact, as soon as a bee discovers a moving targets, it releases a pheromone (animal perfume) to broadcast this to other bees, inviting them to join in.

Apiarist John Potom recommends that people attacked by bees should lie down and cover their heads with their hands; they should not go under water, as the bees will wait for them to surface; they should try to run as fast as they can to a building and shut the door; and they should avoid waving their hands, because the bee may see this as a threat and sting them.

Abdullah Ahmed, Glenelg School, Abu Dhabi

Wearing modest clothes at malls is a sign of maturity

I am writing in reference to Dubai shoppers asked to wear ‘respectful clothing’ (October 1).

If people cannot dress appropriately, they do not deserve to be at public places.

You should either learn to wear modest clothing or simply stay at home, because not everybody at a mall is interested in seeing your bare legs and shoulders.

It is a matter of shame that mall visitors have to be told time and again of what is acceptable to wear and what is not.

People should be mature and responsible enough to understand the difference between decency and vulgarity.

Fatima Suhail, Dubai

The dress code is no big deal. Tourists should be aware of local customs and observe them.

The city of Southampton in New York State has a town dress code, with no beachwear or bathing suits permitted.

Ask yourself: do you want the whole world to look like those on the website People of Wal-Mart?

RJ King, US

Where do people buy these revealing clothes? In the mall.

D Barker, Abu Dhabi

Driver’s penalty seems lenient

It was with shock, amazement, despair and horror that I read about the inadequate punishment for the driver who killed Roy Nasr and injured his two training partners (Drink-driver who killed triathlete is jailed for a month, October 1).

A month in prison for taking another’s life is totally insufficient. Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a conscious decision which I’m sure the driver took willingly, knowing it to be wrong.

Blood money and a month in jail is not enough.

Simon Norris, Abu Dhabi

The sentence for the driver who killed Roy Nasr is unbelievable.

In a country where there is, rightly, zero tolerance for drinking and driving, I can’t understand why such a lenient sentence was given.

What does this say about regard for human life and the responsibility of those in charge of a motor vehicle?

Name withheld by request

In Thieving camel herder sent to jail (October 1), you report that a man who stole bed sheets, kitchen utensils and curtains received six months in jail.

Yet somebody who killed one man and injured two others through drink-driving was sentenced to one month in jail.

Margaret, Sharjah

Mall attack a sign of human failure

The recent attack on the shopping centre in Nairobi can be seen as an attack on civilisation (Signs of hope amid the rubble of Westgate mall, September 27). 

“Terrorism” is the most dangerous word these days, as gun violence and bombings have become a common scenario in every corner of the globe, often distracting public attention from multiple political and social issues that warrant high priority. 

Admitting that terrorism is a global concern is not enough; we need to admit that we have lost faith in ourselves and have started to target others.

Ramachandran Nair, Oman