Un-BEE-lievable! Bees Swarm After Big Rig Hauling 40,000 Pounds Partially Overturns
UPDATED: Bozeman, Montana – A tractor-trailer hauling more than 40,000 pounds of bees partially overturned at an intersection in Bozeman on Monday afternoon sending bees swarming.
First responders were called to the scene of Gooch Hill Road and Durston Road at approximately 5 p.m.
When they arrived they discovered a tractor-trailer hauling more than 40,000 pounds of bees partially overturned after attempting a right hand turn.
Bees were escaping the rig and swarming around crews as they worked to clear the accident.
According to a report from local news outlet KBZK, the team of two truckers were en route from California to North Dakota.
Assistant Fire Chief Brian Nickolay told KBZK his crew was faced with some unique challenges.
“We just took the best precautions we could as far as safety for our guys,” he said. We went really in our full structure fire gear, including our self-contained breathing apparatus packs so kind of minimize and reduce the risk of being stung at that point to our guys.”
The truck drivers were uninjured.
Officials initially said the bees were no longer wanted by the owner, according to a report by ABC Montana.
However, a new report from local news outlet KRTV, estimates that only 1,000 bees escaped and that only two hives were impacted by the crash.
That same report notes that the load of 412 hives is once again on its way to its original destination.
“When something like that happens, if it ever happens again, is to not panic and don’t jump to any quick conclusions on what to do, like foaming them or spraying them or anything like that,” Steve Thorson, owner of Montana Honey Bee Company, said to KRTV.
Thorson said it was “amazing” that “very few people got stung and all of the towing guys all suited up with bee suits and stuff and everybody did great.”
Thorson also said that the weather played a part in things turning out so well.
He indicated that because it was a cool day and almost dark that the bees were likely much more docile than they would have otherwise been.
He estimated that 40,000 pounds of bees is equivalent to more than 133 million.
The load of bees was also estimated to be worth $100,000.