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Pic: Driver stung 100 times as 5 million bees swarmed truck

Swazey Farms beekeepers Daryan Feliciano, left, carefully vacuums bees from a piece of worker bee-covered comb with brood as Nicole Mazzitelli, right, holds the comb. (Elizabeth Robertson/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)
September 01, 2023

Local beekeepers in Ontario were caught in the middle of a buzzing emergency on Wednesday, as a truck transporting millions of bees met an unfortunate end in Burlington when the driver swerved to avoid an obstacle in the road.

The mishap resulted in an angry swarm of approximately five million bees and the driver being stung over 100 times, according to the BBC. The unprecedented event has highlighted the quick action and unity of the beekeeping community.

Tristan Jameson, the driver of the vehicle, recounted the moment of the accident to Global News.

“I was driving down the road, something ran across, or a bag, and I swerved,” he said. “Nearly swerved into the ditch, tried to correct, and dumped all the hives.”

Michael Barber, owner of Tri-City Bee Rescue in Guelph, told BBC that while the driver was not seriously injured, he had been examined by paramedics post-incident.

The BBC also noted that some beekeepers who responded to the scene suffered a few stings. Among the first responders was Luc Peters, who emphasized the unusual behavior of the bees during the accident. According to Peters, a large group of bees would typically choose to remain within their hives rather than fly around.

“There were a lot of flying bees that made even beekeepers in full suits nervous,” he said.

READ MORE: This beekeeper duo found 100,000 bees inside a dilapidated property. Here’s how they removed them

Following the incident, the Halton Regional Police issued a public safety announcement on X, formerly Twitter. The police urged citizens to steer clear of the area, advising vehicle occupants to shut their windows and pedestrians to find alternate routes.

The aftermath of the accident resulted in bees scattering over a 1,300-foot radius, marking their presence on nearby cars and mailboxes. While most of these bees eventually managed to trace their way back to their hives, Barber told the BBC that several hundred bees did not survive the incident.

This news article was partially created with the assistance of artificial intelligence and edited and fact-checked by a human editor.