Three people had to be taken to a clinic after an incident involving a swarm of bees in Mexico.
The insects stung at least 10 people outside a shopping centre in the city of Guadalajara, according to the El Occidental newspaper.
Firefighters temporarily cordoned off the road in the San Carlos neighbourhood and called several ambulances for support.
Eventually, three individuals – whose identities were withheld by the authorities – had to be taken to a nearby hospital for further treatment.
It is unclear whether the pollinators were swarming or having felt the need to protect their hive. It has not been reported either to which bee species they belonged.
Experts say anyone assaulted by a swarm should calmly walk away in a straight line and hide in an enclosed facility. Waving one’s arms frantically is not advised.
Dr Justin O. Schmidt – who is an entomologist at the University of Arizona – told the Scientific American magazine that swatting might turn a coincidental encounter into an assault.
Dr Schmidt said: “Bees don’t form images in the same way that humans do. They use vision primarily to detect motion and quick or jerky movements near a nest are interpreted as a threat.”
He added: “When you see a bee buzzing near your head, I know it’s very satisfying to flap your arms. It just feels so good to swat at it – don’t do it!”
Dr Schmidt warned that such actions would only “make everything worse” as they would make the pollinators feel threatened.
Earlier this year, a 70-year-old man survived being stung hundreds of times by a swarm of bees in Tres Lagoas, southern Brazil.
Jose Silva crouched on the floor on a roadside strip of grass and waved his T-shirt in a desperate bid to fend off the insects.
The elderly man’s son claimed that his dad had been stung more than 500 times. Jose had already lost consciousness when a team of firefighters managed to rescue him. He recovered from the incident at a local clinic.