A man is fighting for his life in hospital after he was stung more than 1 000 times by African honey bees at a Drummond farm on Wednesday.

A paramedic who rushed to the man's aid was also stung several times and was admitted to hospital briefly after he showed signs of a severe allergic reaction to the stings.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said that when paramedics arrived they saw a man collapsed on the ground.

"When the paramedics got out of their ambulance they realised a large swarm of African honey bees was incensed and had stung the man repeatedly. The bees continued to swarm around the man.

"One of the paramedics was allergic to bee stings and, despite the danger, rushed to the man's aid and carried him to the ambulance.

"Once inside the vehicle both medics closed all the doors and windows and covered the injured man while trying to kill the bees that had flown inside," Botha said.

Once the bees inside the ambulance had been killed, one of the medics went to treat the man's wife, who had also been stung several times.

She had taken refuge inside their farmhouse.

The injured man was placed on a ventilator and the paramedic, who showed signs of anaphylaxis, was attended to by other paramedics who had been sent to the farm.

The injured were taken to St Augustine's hospital in Durban.

Botha said that the patient was in a critical but stable condition in the hospital's intensive care unit, and that the injured paramedic had been discharged.