Children pacing the annual Terry Fox Run at White Rock Elementary Friday were met with a “nasty surprise” when bees nesting in the school’s northwest corner took offence to the disruption.
Surrey School District spokesman Doug Strachan confirmed about two dozen children were pulled off the route and treated for stings in the middle of the afternoon run.
“There were about 20, 25 children stung,” Strachan said. “The principal brought everybody off into the school yard and some medicated pads were applied.”
The incident occurred as the children paced a second lap past a treed area of the school property.
“Much of the school had already run by it once when I guess the bees started to agitate,” Strachan said.
Fortunately, none of the children suffered allergic reactions.
They also didn’t want to quit running.
“The troopers that they are, apparently they were all saying, ‘no it’s the Terry Fox Run’,” Strachan said. “A lot of the kids said, ‘we gotta keep running’.”
City of Surrey and district facilities staff were notified and would “certainly put some priority” on removing the nest, he said.
While one parent who contacted Peace Arch News claimed school officials have known about the nest “for weeks,” Strachan said the nest in question – which was located under some leaves – was only discovered when the bees struck out Friday. Another nest, however, was removed from school property about two weeks ago, he said.
Strachan said while every effort is made to remove nests, the district “can never guarantee” its properties are bee-free.
A note detailing the incident was sent home with students Friday afternoon.