A 23-year-old Louisiana man has died after a swarm of bees attack him while hiking inside Usery Mountain Park in Mesa.  Deputy Joaquin Enriquez with the Maricopa county Sheriff’s Office says Alex Bestler was stung over 1,000 times while hiking the Merkle Trail with his friend.  The friend ran to a nearby restroom,

but Bestler was overcome by the swarm.  Bestler was on the ground unconscious covered in bees when another hiker and park employees came upon him.  They tried to help, but the bees were so aggressive, no one could touch him.  Rural Metro firefighters were called and along with the help of park employees and a sergeant, Bestler was moved onto a Sheriff’s trailer still covered in bees.  Enriquez says the swarm of bees followed them to the nearest fire station where crews sprayed Bestler to get rid of the bees.  Firefighters say for “every three square inches of his body, there must have been 300 to 400 bees on him.”   Usery Mountain Park and Merkle Trail will be closed for about a week.

Kris Dugan