A truck loaded with honeybees rolled over on an Oklahoma roadway Tuesday, unleashing a black cloud of more than 1 million angry insects that swarmed vehicles and endangered drivers.
Experts said the bees represented a legitimate threat to the public — and not just at the crash site.
“The bees will swarm up to 10 miles away, some of them in groups,” Bud Ramming, the county’s emergency management coordinator, told Fox News affiliate KOKH.
Ramming said the accident clogged traffic for four hours on Tuesday afternoon.
Bees swarm Oklahoma highway after semi-truck overturns http://t.co/d7IVNRWVPi #NBCNightlyNews pic.twitter.com/7Zp7JR1ctI— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) September 29, 2015
This was the scene today on I-35 and MM 72 southbound, when a semi carrying honey bees rolled over on the interstate. The honey bees swarmed and covered the patrol cars.
Posted by Oklahoma Highway Patrol (The Official FB Page) on Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Deputy Carl Zink, who was stuck in his vehicle, told KFOR that he received a single sting, but was able to safely drive away once the bees cleared.
Scott Woods, a local man who pulled the driver from the overturned truck, was not so lucky.
“I got stung on the lip, on the end of the nose, mouth, the side of the eye and then the back,” he told KOKH.
The driver of the overturned vehicle was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, the station reported.
Jim Stinson, a local beekeeper, said he and other keepers were called to the scene to help save as many bees as possible.
“There’s a bee shortage,” he said. “When they started talking about killing these bees here tonight, I [threw] a fit and said, ‘You don’t do that till I get there.’ As long as people go to fighting them, they go to swatting at them and they’re gonna get mad.”
By nightfall, that’s exactly what happened, according to KOKH. The station reported that angry bees were still buzzing at the scene, forcing authorities to set a fire nearby.