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Bees sting 5 hikers on southern Arizona trail

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 13, 2013 at 7:59 pm •  Published: May 13, 2013

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Bees stung five hikers on a trail heading into a Catalina Mountains wilderness area over the weekend, including a 6-year-old boy who was hospitalized after showing symptoms of shock.

Four men were stung more than 150 times, and the boy was stung more than 100 times during the attack Sunday on the Linda Vista Trail, authorities said. The boy was in stable condition, as were two of the four men. The two others declined to be taken to the hospital, the Arizona Daily Star ( ) reported.

The attack occurred about a week after Tucson rock climber Steven Johnson was killed in a bee attack near Mount Hopkins in the Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson. Johnson was found hanging from a cliff in his climbing gear. A medical examiner said he died from venom from the bee stings.

Johnson's dog was found dead on top of the cliff and also had been stung. It was buried on the mountain.

Pima County sheriff's spokesman Deputy Jesus Banuelos said three deputies arrived with bee suits and hiked up the Linda Vista Trail to reach the group that was stung Sunday. A medical helicopter hovered over the area for 45 minutes to help pinpoint the hikers and disperse the bees, he said.

"It appears the bees came out of nowhere and attacked them," he said.

Others have been stung elsewhere in Arizona this spring.

Bee swarms are typical this time of year when communities of bees divide and part of the group moves out with one queen in search of another home. Experts say to run away from an attack, don't swat at the bees and carry injectable anti-allergy medication if you are allergic to bee stings.

Arizona State University recently sent an alert to students when a swarm of the flying insects was seen on campus. Workers secured the area with caution tape, saying the swarms typically aren't interested in harming people. But they can become aggressive if they're disturbed near their colony.