But the honeybee isn’t even native to the U.S., and wild bees are tricky to corral, so someone has to be responsible for the transportation of huge numbers of bees. And sometimes, on the way to its destination, one of those bee-filled trucks has an accident. The most recent: a truck carrying a reported 15-30 million bees – pretty wide range there, but fair to say “a lot of bees” – overturned on a highway in East Texas.
According to the local CBS affiliate, the truck overturned near Paris, Texas. First responders quickly arrived, several of whom were stung though no one was seriously injured. Shortly after, a team of beekeepers was called in to remove the bees. A witness described hundreds of escaped bees pouring out of the truck.
This is not nearly the first time this has happened, though it is one of the largest spills we’ve seen. There have been crashes in California, in Idaho, and in Washington (among others) in recent years. Escaped bees are hard to gather; in this most recent crash, beekeepers brought in a queen to try to attract errant bees back to a hive, though sadly in other cases, authorities have had to kill bees out of fear for the public.
This amount of bees is also a very valuable shipment – a previous 14-million-bee shipment was estimated at about $100,000.