As 20 million bees were being shipped from Idaho to North Dakota in a tractor trailer, the trailer while passing a nuclear facility, tipped to its side and all the bees were lost in the air.
Immediate response to the incident was seen from the Idaho National Laboratory. Firefighters in plastic suits rushed to the scene and sprayed foam fire retardant to disperse the swarming bees, lab spokeswoman Laura Scheele said.
Idaho was shipping the bees to North Dakota to pollinate crops and make honey.
The location of the Thursday crash was State Highway 33 which is located in the eastern Idaho desert.
The Nuclear facilities at the 890 square mile lab sit are far from the main road.
They were two people present in the vehicle at the time, the driver and a passenger; both remained unhurt and ran to safety as bees started swarming out.
However several motorcyclists got stung by the bees as they drove past the area.
Butte County Sheriff Wes Collins said that the driver reportedly swerved to avoid a car, but authorities have not found any evidence to support his claim and are still investigating the reason for the crash.
The loss estimation, as stated by Brian Wiggins, co-owner of Idaho-based KatieBee Honey, is about 50% of his business, but he would not put a financial figure forward stating that 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.”