Police officers stung by bees during protest — Analysis

Seven police officers were hospitalized as beekeepers protested in front of Chile’s presidential palace

After staging a demonstration in Santiago, four beekeepers were detained. Seven officers from the police were also bitten during the protest, and demanded that the president be contacted.

Local officials say that Monday’s protest saw seven beekeepers sting and four others were taken into custody. The beekeepers were demonstrating about the lack of government support amid falling honey production; they claim the industry has been hard hit by droughts, which have impacted the bees’ food sources, such as flowers and crops.  

President Sebastian Pinera has invited the beekeepers to come to his office to share their ideas, including reforms that would increase honey prices and provide subsidies for honey producers. 

“Bees are dying,”Jose Iturra was a protestor. “There would be no life if the bees die. That’s what we wanted to highlight with this demonstration.”

Nearly 60 beehives, which contained around 10,000 bees, were set up on the street in front the palace. Carabiniers are seven police officers that were stung and taken to hospital. 

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The situation was potentially even more hazardous, according to passersby. One said that anyone allergic to bee stings might become victims.

Omar Guzman the regional agriculture minister said that while the ministry is deeply concerned about the beekeepers’ situation, it noted that their assistance has been extended for many months to up to 20 areas suffering severe water scarcity.

The global climate change has also had an impact on honey production and bee population. One generation after the publication of Science’s 2020 study, it was found that North American bee populations had dropped to 50% and European bee numbers fell by 17%.

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