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New details emerge on Sunday's dramatic bee rescue

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Photo: Video by kgun9.com

New details emerge on Sunday's dramatic bee rescue

By Aaron Brackett. CREATED May 13, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - New details are coming out about the dramatic rescue of 5 hikers after a brutal bee attack.

10:00am Sunday morning on the the Linda Vista trail near Oro Valley the call was made to Golder Ranch Fire Department.


"This was not a normal call for us, the bees were extremely aggressive," said Will Seely of Golder Ranch Fire. "As the responders got closer to the victims, they themselves started getting attacked by the bees."

A medical helicopter that was originally brought in to lift victims to the hospital was used to blow the bees away while rescuers rushed the victims out of the area.


"They were in a catch 22 yesterday, the helicopter would move and they would start to get attacked," said Seely. "If the helicopter was overtop, the dust and the rocks and everything got blown around. The communication was incredibly difficult with the helicopter directly overhead."


So does the heat play a part in how aggressive the bees are this time of year? Not according to bee expert Dr. Carl Olson.

"They just run into you -- oh, what hit me, it was a honeybee," explains Olson. "they go back to the hive and expect you to leave, like a rattlesnake sitting there buzzing his tail, don't take another step so you get the message. [Running into you] is on purpose, they are warning you to leave. They want you to get away. [Bees] are not mean, they are not angry, they are telling you, this is our territory, leave."
 

Dr. Olson says if you do not leave after the warning, the next step is a barrage of stinging.

If you plan on hiking, Dr. Olson says to stick to the trail and keep an eye out for potential hives.