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Buzzworthy Battle: Firefighters in Maine Encounter 15 Million Bees After Truck Carrying Hives Crashes

15 Million Bees Mostly Contained After Truck Overturns on I-95
Source: Maine State Police

Semi truck carrying 15 million honey bees crashed on I-95, according to police.

May 16 2024, Published 1:03 p.m. ET

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A tractor-trailer carrying approximately 15 million honey bees destined for blueberry field pollination recently overturned on Interstate 95 in Maine, officials reported.

The driver was taken to the hospital as a precaution while first responders focused on ensuring the safety of the bees, which were housed in hives strapped to the trailer that had tipped over, according to the Maine State Police.

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Most of the bees were contained, with the primary objective being their preservation, noted Shannon Moss, a spokesperson for the state police.

The nature of the cargo wasn't immediately apparent to first responders until firefighters descended an embankment to check for leaking fluids, explained Fire Chief Travis Leary.

They quickly discovered the bees firsthand.

“The guys did get stung on a regular basis. Everyone got stung at least a couple of times,” said Leary, who suffered several bee stings.

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Leary noted that the temperature, which was in the 40s at the time, likely prevented the bees from becoming more agitated during the several hours required to upright and tow the truck.

A beekeeper was called in to help manage the bees, he added.

The truck was en route to Washington County, the hub of the state’s wild blueberry industry. Each spring, bees are routinely transported to this region to pollinate the blueberry barrens.


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