NEWARK, Del. (WJZ/AP)—Interstate 95 is back open near the border of Delaware Wednesday morning, more than 12 hours after a rig carrying an estimated 16-20 million honeybees crashed. For a while it looked like something out of a cheap horror movie.
Mike Schuh shows us the swarm that put a rarely used emergency plan into effect.
At first it just looks like a toppled semi. But go closer and you hear the problem, and try to swat it away. Bees everywhere.
That’s right. Bees. Tourists really. Millions of bees were on their way from Florida to pollinate the blueberry crop in Maine.
“I’ve seen eggs and chicken, but never bees, never a bee truck flipped over,” one person said.
The problem is without special gear, no one could battle millions of angry bees.
Disaster planners were paid to come up with emergency situations and make a plan. Fourteen years ago, planners in Delaware came up with this exact scenario: a semi overturns with bees. Finally, they got to dust off that plan.
Local beekeepers were rounded up and brought in, eventually directing the fire department to spray water on the hives to disperse the bees.
“There are literally millions of bees down there. They’ve been traumatized; they can get a little irritable,” one person said.
The driver and two passengers were taken to Christiana Hospital with minor injuries. They were covered with bees as they ran away, stung 50-100 times each.
Police cited the driver, 55-year-old Adolfo Guerra of Miami, for unsafe shifting of load or cargo.
“Having traveled all the way up from Florida, they’re thirsty and now they’re all disoriented and angry I’m sure,” one person said.
Those local beekeepers say 90 percent of the bees–millions upon millions– did not make it back into their hives and were dispersed in the northern Maryland, southern Delaware area.
There were reports of passers-by being stung.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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