Hiker dies after 1,000 bees attack at Usery Mountain

A 23-year-old Louisiana man has died after being attacked by bees Thursday morning as he and a friend were hiking within Usery Mountain Park in Mesa, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said.

A medical exam determined the man had been stung more than 1,000 times, officials said.

Just after 9 a.m., Alex Bestler of Elton, La., and his friend, Sonya, were hiking the Merkle Trail when a large swarm of bees appeared without warning.

Sonya was able to safely make it to a nearby restroom, but Bestler was overtaken by the swarm before he could find shelter, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Another hiker and park employees approached Bestler and found him on the ground covered in bees. They tried to approach him, but the aggressiveness of the bees forced them to stay back, the Sheriff’s Office said.

For the complete story and video visit http://www.azcentral.com where this story was originally published. Bee photo by Marke Henle.