Hiker stung 300 times by swarm of bees - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Hiker stung 300 times by swarm of bees, says military training saved him

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Albert Watson, 69, has nearly 300 bee sting wounds after he was attacked on Lone Mountain late Friday afternoon.

Watson said he'd been up the trail several times before.

But this time on the way up, he told FOX5 the bees came without warning.

"They were swarming around my head, my shoulders, it was just one big dog mess," Watson said.

The Las Vegas Fire and Rescue couldn't confirm what type of bees they were.

But entomologist Grady Jones said almost all honey bees in the valley are now Africanized, which get very aggressive as people get close to their hive.

"At that point they become extremely aggressive, it becomes their home and all the science fiction types of things you hear, most of them are pretty much true when it comes to the Africanized bee," Jones told FOX5.

Jones said the Africanized bees are attracted to carbon dioxide and can give chase up to a half mile.

"If (attacked), you cover your face as best you can and run for cover and get inside a house or a car," Jones said.

But when Watson was attacked, he was too far up the mountain.

Knowing how dangerous it is running downhill, Watson said he decided to go up.

"I was really thinking that maybe the farther I got up, the wind might disperse the bees, I really thought about that," Watson said.

At the top of Lone Mountain, Watson found other hikers, who were able to call for help.

He was airlifted down by a helicopter from Metro Search and Rescue and treated by paramedics.

Watson says he'll hike in the area again and he doesn't hold a grudge.

"I'm not mad at the bees, I like bees," Watson said.

Watson served in the Army during the Vietnam War and believes his experience in the military helped him survive.

Copyright 2012 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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