August 4, 2011
Swarm of bees closes highway
By Jasmine Franklin, QMI Agency
EDMONTON — A truck carrying bees crashed in central Alberta, sending a swarm of stingers into the air and forcing cops to close a highway.
Chad Fisher was on his way home around 4:30 a.m., after finishing an early morning paper delivery route, when he began following a flat bed truck on Highway 13 near Bawlf, Alta., about 120 km southeast of Edmonton.
“All of a sudden the truck swerved all over the highway and rolled four times into the ditch,” said Fisher, who ran into the ditch to check on the driver.
The driver and Fisher ran back up to the side of the highway to sit in Fisher’s car when Fisher slipped and says he felt something hitting his body.
“It felt like embers from a fire hitting me and I didn’t know what it was,” said Fisher. “I asked him ‘what were you hauling? He said 'bee’s.’”
“It was wild — I took 20 to 25 bee hits myself.”
Fisher says Daysland RCMP, fire department and Camrose RCMP responded to the call.
There were around 104 hives in the truck.
“The bee hives were scattered all over the highway,” said Dallas Cannady, Daysland fire chief. “They were pretty docile and calm when we got there.”
Cpl. Brent Robinson, of Killam RCMP, responded to the scene. He said the bee owner showed up to advise the fire department and instructed them to spray the bees with a water and foam mixture — killing some.
"A lot were already killed from the shock,” said Robinson. “Some were in the air agitated and worked up.”
Robinson says some of the 104 bee hives were taken away with the bee owner on scene.
The bees were said to be European bees by the owner who gave authorization to spray and kill all 104 hives that were thrown off the highway, says Fisher.
Traffic was detoured.
The driver of the truck was taken to hospital with minor injuries and released shortly after.
No charges have been laid and the cause of the rollover is still under investigation.