More on the mountain bee attack

News continues to trickle in regarding the death of a young hiker attacked by bees two days ago on Camelback Mountain.  And a lesson seems to be emerging on how best to minimize such bee attacks without losing your life.

Joshua Ruzsa, a 19-year-old just days away from joining the Marines, died when he fell about 150 feet after bees attacked him and his two as yet unidentified companions.  His father, Denis Ruzsa, said in an interview his son was training for boot camp.  The son had previously trained at  Thunderbird Park, on the northwest side of Phoenix, by carrying a 60-pound backpack.  Seeking a more challenging climb, young Ruzsa was giving rugged Camelback Mountain a shot, the father said.

The bees attacked the three near the popular Echo Canyon trail that leads up to the 2,704-foot summit from the west.   The elevation gain from the trailhead parking lot is about 1,200 feet.  This spot of the tragedy took place near George’s Route and Ice Box Canyon.

When attacked, Ruzsa tried to escape by climbing back up the mountain, according to the story in the Arizona Republic.  That’s when he fell to his death.  The other two reportedly found an “alcove” down below and huddled there until a helicopter rescue was performed.

While there is no way to fully protect yourself against such an onslaught of bees, Ruzsa perhaps added to the danger by trying to climb out.   You are imperiled enough with just the bees without adding to it the risk of a serious fall.  Hunkering down and covering up may have been the best solution.  It is easier said than done.  Who would have guessed you would be attacked by bees in such a treacherous spot?

The surviving hikers were hospitalized, each with over 300 bee stings.  No mention yet what will be done about the killer bees.

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One thought on “More on the mountain bee attack

  1. I think it is so amazing the number of people writing about my brother on their blogs and such. One thing I did want to mention from the stories his friends have recounted is that Josh was hiking point, saw the swarm of bees and told his friends to hide out in the alcove in Ice Box Canyon. He was trying to lead the bees away from his friends but slipped in the process. The father of one of his friends came to the viewing we had on Friday, November 2nd and told us that if my brother had not sacrificed himself, his son would also be dead. I’m angry and torn up that my brother is gone, but I’m glad that he died in service to his friends.

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