Millions of Bees on the Loose on Interstate After Truck Crash in Utah

By Maggy Patrick

Oct 24, 2011 11:55am

A flatbed truck carrying 460 beehives crashed Sunday, releasing 25 million bees onto Interstate 15 in southern Utah, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Although the hives were contained by a net placed over the truck, the bees escaped, causing major mayhem on the highway. While the cause of the crash was unknown, the swarms prevented crews from moving the truck, causing miles of traffic on the interstate. Because of the slowdown, one car hit the back-end of a semi-trailer and caused a fire.

Several people were stung in the melee near Sr. George, including a police officer and others who tried to help the driver and his wife, who were both taken to the hospital for minor injuries and bee stings, Highway Patrol Trooper Dan Altenes told the Tribune.

Altenes also said officers are working with local beekeepers to find the best way to remove the insects. Larry Lewis, a spokesman for the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, said the bees will likely try to stay close to their queens. No one knows if the queens stayed in their hives during or after the crash but, for now, the buzz around town is to “bee” careful.

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