American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Bee Swarm — Stranded

Arizona, Mount Lemon

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year: 2010
  • Publication Year: 2011

On August 11, a rock climber was stung more than 1,000 times when he and his three partners encountered a beehive about 6:30 p.m. and were attacked atop Mount Lemmon.

His partners were able to escape the swarm, but he was stranded for several hours. Search and rescue crews were able to rescue him about 9:15 p.m. after rappelling down to his location.

The four climbers suffered more than 1,300 bee stings, with the stranded climber suffering more than 1,000 stings. Three of the four were hospitalized. (Source: Edited from a posted report by Brian Pederson, on the Arizona Daily Star site)

(Editor’s Note: It has been a few years since the last report of bees being encountered by climbers. Bees are a common hazard in some climbing areas, so it is good to check with locals and/or land managers before climbing.)

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