Residents of Kenyenya District in Kisii County were shocked when a swarm of bees disrupted baptism ceremony.
New converts, including students and pupils from local schools, had converged at a temporary dam along a stream near Kenyenya town for the ceremony.
After presiding over a church service, the pastor shepherded the converts accompanied by other worshippers to the site shortly after 1pm.
As usual, the converts were led to makeshift changing rooms emerging later resplendent in white cloth. Male and female converts lined up separately as the pastor, accompanied by a group of elders, checked the depth of the water using long sticks.
Drama started when the first convert stepped into the water to dump his old sinful life and take up a new righteous life. As the pastor was about to immerse the convert into water, a swarm of bees emerged and attacked everyone. Caught unawares, worshipers and converts scampered for safety as others cried out in pain from the bee stings.
A stampede ensued as barefoot converts and the pastor fled to safety in nearby homes and surrounding bushes.
Some students, who could not run fast enough, sustained bee stings and were rescued by villagers who rushed to the scene with blankets to cover them.
The villagers used paraffin to nurse the bee-stings before volunteers helped ferry the students to the hospital. The injured were rushed to Kenyenya Sub-District Hospital where they were treated and discharged. Church elders held consultations with the pastor before calling off the exercise.
News of the incident spread and parents rushed to the scene to find out the fate of their children .
“This is very strange. It appears some of the converts had not fully accepted the new life hence the intervention by the bees,” argued a local. Others said there were people with bad spirits among the converts.
“It is normal for bees to react when disturbed. Many worshipers had strong perfumes,” said a teacher.