After Hundreds of Bee Stings and Thousands of Volts, Tree Trimmer Eager to Get Back to Work

While trimming an Afghan pine tree in Las Cruces, New Mexico, arborist Craig Benavidez accidentally came into contact with a power line, instantly sending 13,000 volts coursing through his body.

After Hundreds of Bee Stings and Thousands of Volts, Tree Trimmer Eager to Get Back to WorkS

As firefighters moved in to rescue the unconscious Benavidez, a colleague commented that touching power lines "feels like a million bee stings."

And Benavidez knows that feeling all too well.

Six months ago, while working on a tree near the Alameda House, Benavidez, 52, was suddenly attacked by a swarm of Africanized bees.

He was stung some 1,800 times while dangling from his harness with no means of escape.

"Bees were coming out of my mouth, my ears, my nose and flying around the hospital," Benavidez, still recovering from his latest near-death experience, told ABC-7.

But just as he was then, Benavidez says he's eager to return to the job he's been doing for the past 30 years.

"I'm glad that I'm still kicking and alive and I got all five fingers and five toes," said Benavidez, who came away from the power line incident with a few cuts and burns. "I'm just a guy cutting trees just trying to make a living."

[screengrabs via KVIA]