A 70-year-old man and 52-year-old woman were attacked by thousands of furious bees while hiking in Brignon, roughly 140 kilometres south of Clermont-Ferrand.
The two tourists were evacuated to a hospital in Puy-en-Velay, rescue workers told AFP, after the tourists alerted emergency services of the bee swarm around 11 am CET on Tuesday.
The man was in a critical state after being stung several hundreds of times all over his body and in his mouth.
Figherfighters told AFP that when they arrived, the bees covered the entire body of the man and much of the woman's body making it difficult to evacuate the hikers.
Six of the twenty firefighters present were victims of dozens of bites.
Firefighter Stéphane Pons said in an interview broadcast on RMC that the bees would not stop stinging the couple. The relief workers could not approach the tourists at first because it would have put their lives in danger.
A beekeeper intervened to help smoke the bees and calm them down. The beekeeper smoked the interior of the emergency vehicle to stop the bees from stinging the tourists.