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Semi-truck carrying more than 40 million bees overturns on I-5, WSP warns drivers

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LYNNWOOD -- A semi-truck loaded with more than 40 million bees overturned on Interstate 5 in Lynnwood, sending more and more angry insects into the air as the temperature warmed up and traffic intensified.

The crash occurred sometime before 4 a.m. Friday morning near Milepost 183 at the intersection of I-5 and I-405. The semi-truck blew a front tire and overturned, Washington State Patrol Troopers said, spilling 448 honey bee hives onto their side on the roadway.

The driver of the semi-truck was not inured in the crash.

The bees remained calm at first in the cool morning air, but are grew increasingly agitated, WSP troopers said.  Firefighters on the scene sprayed the bees with water, and a company from Burlington suited up in an attempt to calm and remove the bees.

At least two Q13 FOX News photographers, along with reporter Kelly O'Connell, were stung as the bees woke with the sun. Once temperature got above 55 degrees, the bees stopped clustering together and branched out, Seth Smith of Valley Buzz Beekeeping said.

"Don't hang around being a looky-loo," Smith said.

Officials warned removal of the bees could take hours. They also encouraged drivers to roll up their windows and close vents while driving by, as a number of people have reported being stung.

By 9 a.m., the semi-truck was turned right-side up and fire crews sprayed water on the remaining bees, killing them. Beekeepers told Q13 FOX News that this was necessary, as the bees continued to grow more active and branch out.

Smith called the crash a "big blow" to the local bee ecosystem, as $92,000 worth of bees are now in peril. Thousands of dead bees littered the ground by 7 a.m.

 

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17 comments

  • Truthbug

    Damage to the bees is the most important issue of this event.Lack of pollination they would have done today is also extremely important.

  • Christylee Brown

    it is upsetting to me seeing bee keepers tossing boxes around,.. there is more then smoke and water being put on these destroyed, there is evidence of foam in these pictures which is used by fire fighters in certain types of fires. (having used to be a fire fighter my self, ) I don’t understand why they cannot set up temporary hives on the hill in the center median to encourage the lost bees back to a new queen. Bees play such a huge part of our livelihood in terms of pollination,. I just can’t understand why this matter, while emergent, cant be handle with a little bit of grace and patience. ( I am also someone who has a sever allergy to bee stings,. in part, I do my part to protect myself to make sure everyone around me knows where all my epi-pens are located and up to date at all times. )

  • Think about it i dare you

    every one thinks this is funny but its not funny at all this is a very bad thing we need bees its bloom season in orchard land look into the deaths of bees across the world and then come back and delete your stupid bee jokes

  • Stefan Boss

    I`m Sorry my English is Bad i Post in German Oje Oje die viele Bienen da freu ich mich das in Deutschland die Bienen STationär gehalten werden

  • noonan

    What do you call a Bee born in May? A Maybe. What is a Bee’s favorite sport? Rug-bee What do you call a Bee that lives in America? a USB What is a Bee’s favorite band? The Bee Gees

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