In strange news, along a corridor on the I-5 Interstate in Washington State, a semi truck filled with honeybees flipped over, releasing literally millions of bees for miles.
No one was hurt, but the honeybees became very active in the morning, and firefighters had to wear extra protection.
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Beekeepers were dispatched to save as many hives and bees as possible.
KOMO local news reports:
A semi truck carrying millions of honeybees overturned on Interstate 5 north of Seattle early Friday, scattering hives and sending white-suited beekeepers scrambling to save as many insects as they could.
The truck had just merged onto the freeway from I-405 around 3:30 a.m. when it tipped on its side, dumping its load of 448 hives, or about 13.7 million bees, Washington State Patrol Trooper Travis Shearer said. The driver, a 36-year-old man from Idaho, was not hurt.
The company that owns the insects, Belleville Honey and Beekeeping Supply of Burlington, sent beekeepers to recover as many as possible, and bees covered their protective suits as they worked. Officials later said about 10 million bees perished.
The bees became more active as the sun rose and the weather warmed, and firefighters had to spray a layer of foam on some of the boxes, killing the insects for safety.
Many of the hives were still along the highway more than seven hours after the accident, when a front-end loader began scooping them up and dumping them into a dump truck, Shearer said. The majority of the hives had been crushed.
“I’m sure they’ll take that somewhere and try to save as many as they can, but they can do that someplace safer, away from the I-5 corridor,” he said.
The bees were being transported from Sunnyside, in central Washington, to a blueberry farm in Lynden, a city near the Canadian border about 100 miles north of Seattle, Shearer said.
First responders swatted at the bees as they tried to do their jobs
News crews at the scene also were attacked by the stinging insects. One TV cameraman reportedly was stung dozens of times. When reporters retreated to their vehicles for safety, they discovered that bees were crawling in through the vents.
“I think everybody there got stung,” Shearer said.
Shearer urged drivers to keep their windows up and to “#beesafe when traveling through that area,” as he wrote on Twitter.
A man who answered the phone at the beekeeping company said he couldn’t immediately answer any questions related to the accident.
The scene was finally cleared and all lanes reopened just after 12:30 p.m
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