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Canada truck crash releases 12 million bees PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 July 2008

Twelve million honey bees were released along Canada's largest highway in northwest New Brunswick, yesterday after a crashed and flipped over.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the lorry had 330 crates of bees on board when the driver tried to negotiate a ramp. The load apparently shifted inside the trailer, sending the entire vehicle off balance and causing it to overturn.

At least 12 million bees escaped as the lorry's container burst open and the crates were tossed around, but police said a downpour

Police said a downpour of rain has helped to contain the bees in and around the truck.
"Mother Nature has been very cooperative with us. Bees don't like the rain ... thousands of bees are hanging on the back of this truck and on the pavement right behind," said Derek Strong, an RCMP spokesman.

Bee experts from Canada's government agriculture body were called in to help deal with the accident.

Smoke was pumped into the back of the truck to calm the remaining bees, while paramedics and ambulances were put on standby in case people endured multiple bee stings or had an allergic reaction to a sting. The driver of the truck was not hurt.

Richard Duplain, vice-president of the New Brunswick Beekeepers Association, said it was difficult to predict whether the bees would be docile or agitated given their ordeal.

"It's certainly not a situation where you want to tempt problems," said Mr Duplain. "You certainly don't want to go walking through a field of disoriented, agitated and wet honey bees."

Mr Duplain said if the bees were not captured quickly, they could disperse into the countryside and find a home inside a tree hollow or another protected area, though it is unlikely they would survive very long.

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