Greater than 20 million bees were set abuzz on the freeway as tractor trailer transporting these honey-makers, from Idaho to North Dakota, tipped near a nuclear facility.
It’s the perfect scene to shoot a science fiction movie if you ask me – with a giant mutant-bee rising up from near the nuclear facility waste yard. But that’s just my imagination running wild!
Reality was far from this dramatic. Firefighters were quick to respond to the crash on Thursday, widely spraying foam fire retardant to disperse the bees and avoid bee stings.
The bees were being transported to North Dakota to pollinate crops and make honey
Brian Wiggins, co-owner of Idaho-based KatieBee Honey, said the loss represents about 50 percent of his business. He declined to provide a dollar estimate but said it was covered by insurance.
“We lost not only a huge honey crop, but we lost many hives and reproducers,” he said. “We’ll just go from here and hope for the best.”
The area of the crash is State Highway 33 – located in the eastern Idaho desert. Nuclear facilities at the 890-square-mile lab site are far from the main road.
Butte County Sheriff Wes Collins said the driver and a passenger in the tractor trailer remained unharmed and flew to safety when the bees started swarming. However, several motorcyclists were stung as they drove past the crash site.
The driver reports that the accident occurred as he swerved to avoid a car. Collins said authorities didn’t find evidence to support that account and were continuing to investigate.