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Home Laos Tales From The Mekong ⇒ Killer Bees

The Mekong: River of Death

2Killer Bees

Every year the river takes a large number of lives but its not just the water that is dangerous. Every now and then we would pass a tree that had what appeared to be an enormous brown ball near the top. These are bee nests for want of a better word, giant colonies that are prized for both the honey they yield and for the bee larvae, which are chewed-up alive. However harvesting these natural riches is a difficult and risky undertaking and can have tragic consequences.

“Just the other week at a village not far from here almost an entire family were killed trying to get one of those,” one of the passengers, a quiet young man told me when he noticed me looking at a particularly spectacular nest.

“They had tried to smoke out the nest but something went wrong and the bees attacked them. All except the young mother died. She was lucky and managed to reach the river in time and dive in. That’s the only way of escaping once the bees are after you otherwise they will chase you for miles.”

She lost her husband and all her children to the bees that day.

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