I am a regular climber and a hiker. Having an experience of more than 600 hikes and around 30 technical climbs, I have realized that during rock-climbing, the climbers are bound to face Honeybees where I climb. Range of Sahyadris in India offer few of the good challenges in rock-climbing. This is where we climb. I have a news to share here. Follow the link to detailed news about the mishap.

Now, this guy, I know him very well. Tough, Strong and a Never-Give-Up sort of a Navy guy, who has been sailing for half a decade all over the world. The news was that he died in a bee attack during a technical rock climb.

I want to raise a question that what can be done to prevent such an attack? What as a climber I should never do in order to avoid such an attack? If it happens somehow, what am I supposed to do in order to limit the damage being done?

  1. Avoid bee hives
  2. Avoid bee hives
  3. See 1 & 2

Once you've pissed the bees off there is little to nothing you can do. Getting out of the area is the obvious answer, but that is difficult mid-climb. We have all sort of wasps, bees, etc. in my area of the Southeastern US and the advice is the same. Be alert and don't hit a nest. A swarm of hornet makes for an unpleasant hike VERY quickly.

  • 1
    For what I've seen, once startled, bees will attack if they consider you a threat. I have been in the middle of an angry swarm without getting a single sting, but I guess it was a bit of luck, the fact that I was very calm and not making sudden movements, and the fact that they were focused on other events. But yes, avoiding the situation is the way to go.
    – Roflo
    Jun 21 '13 at 1:05
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    Agressive nature depends a lot of the species involved (and whether they are solidary or live in groups), while some may only attack if you hit at them, or try to hold them in your hand, others will already attack if you come within a distance of the nest. Unless you can positively identify a specie as harmless I would agree it is better to avoid any bee/wasp hive as soon as you become aware of it.
    – Samuel DR
    Jun 21 '13 at 11:28
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    In addition to the stings, they can have different types of venom which you or anyone in your group may be allergic to without knowing so. One can react more,less or not at all depending on the type and amount of venom.
    – Samuel DR
    Jun 21 '13 at 11:31
  • 1
    The level of aggressiveness also depends on the season. Towards the end of summer when they're making preparations for winter, they're far more aggressive. Jun 21 '13 at 19:27
  • by definition a swarm is not angry. A swarm doesn't mean "a whole bunch of bees" it means "bees with full tummies who are headed out to make a new hive." You can gather a swarm in buckets and wheelbarrows without consequence unless you accidentally squish one. That said, a loud of angry bees (or wasps/hornets who don't have to be angry) is a scary thing to meet, and there really is no defence - you can only run, and that's not an option during a climb. Oct 14 '15 at 12:24

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