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Bees


Original Post
Daniel Behrend · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

Hi, Im moving to Phoenix later this year and im looking to know what areas are affected majory by the bees and how not to get stung to death 

frank minunni · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined May 2011 · Points: 92

Don't worry.  There aren't that many bees left in the world.

Stan McKnight · · AZ · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 261

Camelback mountain is where people have the most trouble, but I have climbed there several times and haven't encountered more than just a random bee here and there. 

I've seen quite a few in the McDowell mountains and got swarmed a few months ago on top of gardeners wall. Didn't get stung luckily and got down as fast as possible but I have yet to go back there. Other parts of the mcdowells haven't had any big problems 

Daniel Evans · · Phoenix, AZ · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 85

I moved out here 2 years ago and had the same concern. Fortunately, it's pretty avoidable as long you follow some simple rules. The biggest thing is, from mid-April up until the first cold snap (likely October), it's best to just avoid places like Pinnacle Peak, McDowell Mountain, or Camelback Mountain if at all possible. Others might tell you to watch for hive activity and leave the area, but for me personally it just isn't worth it. Some of the hives are hard to spot until you are too close for comfort. I also don't care for being attacked mid-lead because there is a hive just over the summit I didn't see. There are better places to climb within a 2 hours drive during those times anyway where the colder weather keeps bee activity down and a non-issue (i.e. Granite Mountain, Paradise Forks, Flagstaff crags, Mt Lemmon summit crags, etc.) Obviously, the other simple rule is that if you do see bee activity in an area outside of those date gaps I mentioned above, especially if the weather has been abnormally warm for the area, then it is best to just find a different route. Third, if a scout is buzzing you, don't kill it. So, nothing crazy. It's honestly not as bad as you think out here. But, for safe measures, I store a mesh head net in my chalk bag in the event I do get attacked, so that I can atleast protect my eyes, ears, nose, and mouth until I can safely descend whatever route I am on and get to safety.

Daniel Behrend · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0
Dan Evans wrote:

I moved out here 2 years ago and had the same concern. Fortunately, it's pretty avoidable as long you follow some simple rules. The biggest thing is, from mid-April up until the first cold snap (likely October), it's best to just avoid places like Pinnacle Peak, McDowell Mountain, or Camelback Mountain if at all possible. Others might tell you to watch for hive activity and leave the area, but for me personally it just isn't worth it. Some of the hives are hard to spot until you are too close for comfort. I also don't care for being attacked mid-lead because there is a hive just over the summit I didn't see. There are better places to climb within a 2 hours drive during those times anyway where the colder weather keeps bee activity down and a non-issue (i.e. Granite Mountain, Paradise Forks, Flagstaff crags, Mt Lemmon summit crags, etc.) Obviously, the other simple rule is that if you do see bee activity in an area outside of those date gaps I mentioned above, especially if the weather has been abnormally warm for the area, then it is best to just find a different route. Third, if a scout is buzzing you, don't kill it. So, nothing crazy. It's honestly not as bad as you think out here. But, for safe measures, I store a mesh head net in my chalk bag in the event I do get attacked, so that I can atleast protect my eyes, ears, nose, and mouth until I can safely descend whatever route I am on and get to safety.

yea I was looking at jtree as a secondary option because its only 3 hours away

Daniel Evans · · Phoenix, AZ · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 85

But just FYI, there are killer bees in virtually all of Central/Southern Arizona, so this also applies to other areas such as Queen Creek, Cochise Stronghold, and Mount Lemmon. Just be smart and you'll be fine. I've climbed at all of these places during peak climbing season (i.e. not spring or summer) and never had an issue.

Daniel Evans · · Phoenix, AZ · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 85

Joshua Tree is a 4 hour drive from Phoenix. It's definitely doable in a weekend, but for day trips or 1-2 day overnight trips, you're better off heading North to Prescott/Flagstaff or Mount Lemmon at the summit crags.

Daniel Evans · · Phoenix, AZ · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 85

Sedona is also really good, and is only 2 hours north of Phoenix.

Greg Opland · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2001 · Points: 172
Daniel Behrend wrote:

yea I was looking at jtree as a secondary option because its only 3 hours away

Wow. You must drive really fast. I would expect to find drive times between 4 and 4.5 hours if I was you.

Daniel Behrend · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0
Greg Opland wrote:

Wow. You must drive really fast. I would expect to find drive times between 4 and 4.5 hours if I was you.

I would drive with a partner and speed in the express lane

Daniel Evans · · Phoenix, AZ · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 85

I get there in 4 hours and that's traveling between 80-90 mph the entire way. The I-10 is littered with cops, and there is no express lane once you leave the city boundaries. So unless you have a spaceship, it's about 4 hours.

susan peplow · · Joshua Tree · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 2,660

Plenty of bees in Joshua Tree too.  It' not unusual to see/hear large swarms passing overhead.  This can happen summer, spring, fall or winter.   BeeAware is good practice anywhere.

As for Joshua Tree being 3 hours away... maybe if you're on the far west side near Litchfield Park to the JTNP boundary line outside of Desert Center.  Depending on your launch point, it's close to 300 miles away.  Feeling like a bit of an authority... I commuted from Chandler with 3/4 day turnarounds for SEVEN YEARS. #Brutal


Daniel Behrend · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

do they have special bee spray

Daniel Evans · · Phoenix, AZ · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 85

http://www.beealert.com/ makes a foam spray that is said to stop an attack once it occurs if you're really concerned about it. It's probably similar to what the fire department uses, but in a can. I picked one up when I first moved here to AZ, but it stays in my truck now and I don't think I've ever once carried to the crag. It's like the #6 cam. Whenever it comes time to pack your bag, you will look at it and be like "yeah... we'll be good." Looking back, knowing what I know now, I don't think I would've bothered getting one. Just be smart about where and when you climb like I said. At the end of the day though, if having one gives you peace of mind and you are willing to carry it then it's probably not the worst thing to have on hand I suppose.

Daniel Behrend · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0
Dan Evans wrote:

http://www.beealert.com/ makes a foam spray that is said to stop an attack once it occurs if you're really concerned about it. It's probably similar to what the fire department uses, but in a can. I picked one up when I first moved here to AZ, but it stays in my truck now and I don't think I've ever once carried to the crag. It's like the #6 cam. Whenever it comes time to pack your bag, you will look at it and be like "yeah... we'll be good." Looking back, knowing what I know now, I don't think I would've bothered getting one. Just be smart about where and when you climb like I said. At the end of the day though, if having one gives you peace of mind and you are willing to carry it then it's probably not the worst thing to have on hand I suppose.

Thanks 

Greg Opland · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2001 · Points: 172

I think most of the bad bee attacks have been pretty much big surprises other than the Michigan guys on the Hart Route at Camelback (they had even been warned in advance). Bees, to me, fall in a similar category to rattlesnakes and gila monsters. Keep your eyes (and ears) open and avoid if encountered. There are specific known places where bees are typically found; Bobcat Boulder/Loaf at Little Granite, aforementioned Hart Route on C'back, Bee Gee at Pinnacle Peak, One for the Road at Sven Slab, Owl Rock at Cochise, The Mustang. If people know of others, please mention them here. I don't think a concern about bees has ever caused me to change my climbing plans. I've had swarms pass over me in the Superstitions and out in the McDowells, but never felt threatened in those cases.

CTB · · Cave Creek, AZ · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 185

I had a run in with some agressive bees at the northern most summit at the Ice Castles last winter.  The hive was pretty large and super loud! It was in the shade most of the day and they didn't bother us till the sun finally hit it. From Karabins fold out, it looks like its been there a long time. From the looks of the place and the location of the hive the bees probably used to get shot at a bunch and now have a vendetta!!

arjunmh · · Phoenix & Prescott, AZ · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 4,680

I named one of my easy routes "Bee's Brunch" in The Refuge thanks to getting attacked. Untied and free soloed off in a hurry! Returned later to retrieve gear. 

There are bees all over. Little Granite Mtn had the worst and I haven't been back for a while thanks to them. 

Eyes and ears open and climb smart. Unless you're an idiot you should be fine. 

Daniel Behrend · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0
arjunmh wrote:

I named one of my easy routes "Bee's Brunch" in The Refuge thanks to getting attacked. Untied and free soloed off in a hurry! Returned later to retrieve gear. 

There are bees all over. Little Granite Mtn had the worst and I haven't been back for a while thanks to them. 

Eyes and ears open and climb smart. Unless you're an idiot you should be fine. 


Don't you want to stay tied in?

Petroclimbsagain · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0


Your firearms are useless against them.   

EvanHyatt · · Santa Ana · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 0

so im a beekeeper! random tips on dealing with bees!

1 dont freak out, if it lands on you! the more you panic, the more the bee gonna panic, look at it for its beauty like you would a hard climb and respect it, for its danger. Slow precise movements, not jerky ohh shit i forgot this movements. Remember you have nothing for the bee you are not a flower and your not a threat. Its confused because you smell good, and might have some moisture (sweat). Bees need pollen, nectar, tree sap, and water. They could care less about you.

2 Bees dont like banana's. Its the danger smell. Dont know why, but dont eat a banana around bees you will get stung. Such scents exists in alot of sunscreens (banana boat) and lotions, plus the hand balm i use has beeswax, but thats the one i make.

3 The only time i squish bees is when they get stuck in my hair. If a bee gets stuck, it panics and it will be more likely to sting. the sting is most painful in areas of fat. the worst pain from a bee sting i recieved was in the little belly under my belly button. If its in your hair, smash it into your head, no fat there. wont beeeee that bad.

Beeeeee friendly to my bee friends, and you will beeeeee safe

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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