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Bee Stings kill Climber

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Bee Stings kill Climber

Postby kbmiller » Thu May 09, 2013 7:54 am

This looks like a very unfortunate accident: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/22194419/ariz-climber-found-dead-covered-with-bee-stings

Not something you can plan for very well.

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Re: Bee Stings kill Climber

Postby nyker » Thu May 09, 2013 8:00 am

Sounds like it could be Africanized Honey Bees...haven't heard anything about them in years.

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Re: Bee Stings kill Climber

Postby Scott P » Thu May 09, 2013 8:04 am

Sounds like it could be Africanized Honey Bees...haven't heard anything about them in years.


No doubt and they are actually a huge problem in Arizona. Last October, an incident happened on Camelback Mountain just outside Phoenix:

http://www.azfamily.com/news/Hiker-killed-by-fall-during-bee-attack-on-Camelback-Mountain-176351061.html

You usually only hear about the ones that cause death, but killer bee attacks are becoming quite common in Arizona.
Last edited by Scott P on Thu May 09, 2013 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bee Stings kill Climber

Postby Steve Climber » Thu May 09, 2013 8:14 am

:shock: Holy Crap! Please tell me those bees are not making their way up here...

RIP to both of these guys. Definitely not something you can prepare for and tragic it lead to loss of lives.
Dave B wrote:And/or line thy helmet with tin foil and realize this is a freaking mountaineering website.


Steve Climber wrote:So that's your backpack, huh?

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Re: Bee Stings kill Climber

Postby Scott P » Thu May 09, 2013 8:29 am

Holy Crap! Please tell me those bees are not making their way up here...


Most of Colorado is considered to be too cold for killer bees, but they have been found in parts of Utah that have similar climates to the warmest parts of Colorado, so I guess they may be able to colonize the warmest parts of Colorado.
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Re: Bee Stings kill Climber

Postby SolarAlex » Thu May 09, 2013 8:41 am

being stung to death by bees is probably one of the worst things i can imagine. Bees top my list of irrational fears for sure. just that buzzing sound they make when they fly by your ear is enough to make want to flee.

Re: Bee Stings kill Climber

Postby Steve Climber » Thu May 09, 2013 8:54 am

SolarAlex wrote:being stung to death by bees is probably one of the worst things i can imagine. Bees top my list of irrational fears for sure. just that buzzing sound they make when they fly by your ear is enough to make want to flee.


Last summer, I was in Boulder playing around on a man-made rock in a park and stuck my hand into a crack with 5-7 (assuming) yellow jackets hanging out in shady spot and they came out with a fury...not a great day for my hand and back of neck. I can only hope that after a bit, you would go into shock and not feel the stings anymore.
Dave B wrote:And/or line thy helmet with tin foil and realize this is a freaking mountaineering website.


Steve Climber wrote:So that's your backpack, huh?

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Re: Bee Stings kill Climber

Postby Scott P » Thu May 09, 2013 8:57 am

being stung to death by bees is probably one of the worst things i can imagine.


+1. A little known fact is that killer bees actually have less venom in their stings than normal honey bees. It's just that so many of them sting you. Unless you are allergic to bee stings, it actually takes 2000-3000 stings before you die. :shock:
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Re: Bee Stings kill Climber

Postby climbnowworklater » Thu May 09, 2013 9:11 am

Horrible. My condolences to the family.

I have had several experiences with bee's in AZ. Once, I was on the Monk in Phoenix a few years ago. This pinnacle type climb left me on top belaying a 2nd up. All of the sudden you hear this ROAR. It's loud and it's scary. Then you see this black cloud moving with force. All I could do was lay still and try not to get their attention. One of the scarier moments climbing for myself.

We eventually came up with a rule that when one climber sees 3 or more bee's, we stop the climb. period. Too dangerous. Also, to this day, every time I start a climb I look up the route and look for bee activity. Especially when "onsighting". Even though the risk is essentially non-existent in CO, I've been conditioned to look.

I remember certain climbs could no longer be climbed becasue of active bee hives.
(Hart Route on C-back mtn and One for the road in the Mcdowells are two specifically.) Large hives, active, and dangerous.

Can you imagine being swarmed and not being able to run away. Horrific.

One thing we did learn: they don't like cold or wind. But in Phoenix, we don't get those two very often.
The bee issue has become such a problem it was one of the reasons for moving to CO.
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Re: Bee Stings kill Climber

Postby Maximillion » Thu May 09, 2013 9:14 am

First the Birds (http://14ers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=39634&p=481057#p481057)

Now the Bees!


But seriously, what a terrible way to go.


Re: Bee Stings kill Climber

Postby Steve Climber » Thu May 09, 2013 10:08 am

climbnowworklater wrote:We eventually came up with a rule that when one climber sees 3 or more bee's, we stop the climb. period.


Seems like reasonable plan. Crazy, of all the potential dangers that can get you while climbing, BEES had never even been a blip on my radar before getting chewed on (and even then, never really considered an entire hive attacking). Nothing to panic over, I know, but glad to be aware of them at this point...esp if I ever climb in AZ.
Dave B wrote:And/or line thy helmet with tin foil and realize this is a freaking mountaineering website.


Steve Climber wrote:So that's your backpack, huh?

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