Truck Flips, Dumps 20M Angry Bees on Highway

Delaware beekeepers rush to the rescue
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2014 3:24 PM CDT
Traffic along I-95 is met with a warning sign from DelDOT about the bees.   (AP Photo/The Wilmington News-Journal, Andre L Smith)
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(Newser) – It might seem that if you were hauling around, say, 20 million or so passengers who could sting the hell out of you, you might proceed with an abundance of caution. Such was not the fate of a Florida-to-Maine driver this week, who failed to negotiate an on-ramp in Delaware, overturned his rig, and unleashed 460 crates of none-too-happy honeybees. As the News Journal reports, the bees didn't exactly disperse: Troopers said an hour after the crash "we can't even get close to the truck right now." They warned drivers to close their windows because of "transient bee swarms in the area" and shut down the ramp for almost a full 12 hours—but not before they had to call in the big guns.

Those big guns were beekeepers, notes Smithsonian, and they had a neat trick: Hose the little buzzing critters. "There's no rounding them up," explained a police spokesperson. "The water will calm and disperse their activity." Oddly, state police were able to dust off a "bee swarm removal procedure" drawn up 14 years earlier but never used. The truck driver, meanwhile, got a citation for an unsafe load, along with 50 to 100 bee stings.

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