Rochester man receives national recognition for bravery

By James Arbuthnott

It was 6pm when a swarm of aggressive bees covered Rochester man Lyle Collins' neighbour in a thick layer over his arms, face and body.

Mr Collins was helping remove an old fence post from the rural property with a tractor when they disturbed the wild bee hive.

As the bees entered the tractor cab, Mr Collins shouted to his neighbour to run.

Unable to be heard, and seeing his neighbour in distress, Mr Collins ran 400m to the house to grab towels, a sheet and insecticide.

He returned to find his neighbour on the ground, covered in stinging bees.

He covered his neighbour with a sheet and sprayed the bees.

He then dragged his neighbour away from the area. Emergency services arrived eventually and the pair was treated for multiple bee stings.

Mr Collins recently received the Australian Bravery Medal for his "considerable bravery". He was one of just 17 Australians to receive the award.

The award recognises Australians who do extraordinary things for their community and for their country.