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Out of the Ordinary

Millions of bees escape after Utah truck crash

25 million bees escape after Utah semi overturns

A truck hauling beehives overturned in southern Utah Sunday and authorities are attempting to capture the bees that escaped.

The Deseret News says the tractor-trailer contained an estimated 25 million bees when it rolled in a construction zone on Interstate 15 Sunday evening. Although all of the 460 hives were contained by a net over the truck’s trailer, the bees escaped.

There is currently no information on how many bees escaped but authorities are working with the Utah Department of Agriculture to determine how to best capture or eliminate the bees.

According to the Salt Lake City Tribune, several people were stung, including the truck driver and his wife, a police officer, a news reporter and several others who tried to help after the crash. The semi driver and his wife were taken to a local hospital for treatment for injuries caused by the bees. Authorities are recommending drivers in the area to keep windows closed for the time being.

Larry Lewis, a spokesman for the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, explained that the bees would most likely try to stay close to their queens. “When this has happened before, they try to hive up or swarm up around the queen,” Lewis said. He was unsure of whether or not the queen bees in the crash had stayed in their hives or escaped like the others.

Southbound lanes on I-15 were closed for several hours Sunday night.

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