Camelback Mountain Bees on the Attack: UPDATE -- Stung Hiker Takes Fatal Fall

Categories: Bees!

camelback beehive 2 290w.jpg
Image: Ray Stern
A beehive at Camelback Mountain.

Bees at Camelback Mountain attacked several hikers this afternoon, causing at least one person to become injured die in a fall, authorities say. (See today's update by clicking here.)

"A bunch of hikers were getting attacked," says Captain Scott McDonald, Phoenix Fire Department spokesman, who was still gathering info at the mountain park when we caught him on his cell.

The attack reportedly occurred on Echo Canyon Trail, involving at least three hikers.

-- See Also: Camelback Mountain Hiker Dies After Fall in Bee Attack, Two Others Stung 300X Each; Off Main Trail on Climbing Route

beehive on Hart Route, Camelback Mountain.jpg
Image: Ray Stern
The beehive on Hart Route, a climbing route at Camelback Mountain.

McDonald says one victim fell after being nailed by bees, and a technical rescue is ongoing. He plans to put out a public statement soon about the incident.

The 57-acre, rugged Echo Canyon park is popular with rock climbers as well as hikers. Several beehives are situated among the crags, and sometimes the little insects get downright ornery. They occasionally make the news for stinging hikers and climbers.

In 2004, bees were responsible for the death of a 24-year-old Michigan man, Keith Abbe. He'd been climbing the lengthy Hart Route with a friend when bees -- apparently from a hive on the top of the climb's second pitch -- attacked both men. Abbe, who'd never climbed outdoors before, untied the safety line from his harness and attempted to escape the bees by down-climbing the vertical route. He slipped and fell about 50 feet to his death.

The advice of experts if attacked by a swarm: Run. As far and fast as possible.

Bee attacks have been relatively common in the Valley since Africanized "killer" bees arrived in the 1990s.

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3 comments
themaxx69
themaxx69

Ummm, hello? The hiking community is to blame for this. If I hiked there, the first time I heard about the damn bees, I would have gotten a damn bee suit myself and went up there with chemicals & propane torch and killed all those motherf@ckers! And since nobody did that, why not contact the city and bug the hell out of them to take care of it?

Maholler
Maholler

@themaxx69 you're an idiot. It is the city's job to safely maintain their parks. Informing people that they should take these matters into their own hands puts more people at unnecessary risk. Think. Then post v

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

 @themaxx69 Agreed. "Killer" bees are a significant threat to public safety. They need to be annihilated asap.

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