A 70-year-old Norwegian resident was found dead by a path in the hills behind Riviera del Sol in Mijas Costa last week. The Guardia Civil were notified after a local woman discovered the deceased man with his t-shirt over his head and multiple large bee stings all over his body.
The Guardia Civil’s Seprona environmental protection officers found clear signs that the man’s death had resulted from the bee stings, according to sources.
The officers discovered a bee farm, with 150 beehives, 400 metres from where the body was found. Investigators believe that the man was first stung here before attempting to flee a swarm and eventually collapsing by the path.
The initial stages of the post-mortem, carried out by forensic scientists in Malaga, suggested the victim died of anaphylactic shock after deadly levels of bee venom were found in his bloodstream.
Seprona agents are now looking into whether the bee farm in question meets the regional government’s current legal requirements over its location, warning signs and the number of beehives kept for honey extraction.
Strict beekeeping rules
Current regulations state that bee farms must be located at least 400 metres away from large public spaces, 200 metres from houses and main roads and at least 25 metres from country paths.
Warning signs should be in place and be no smaller than 35 cm by 25 cm and with the words “Atención, abejas”, (Warning, bees), written on a yellow background in large letters.
A further rule says that if the farm is fenced off with the hives at least 25 metres from the edge no sign is necessary.
Sources said that the man, well-known in the Norwegian community, had gone for walk in just shorts and t-shirt on Wednesday last week, the day he was last seen alive. The woman, who was out walking her dog, found his body the next day.