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Most of 15 Million Bees Saved After Bee-Laden Truck Crashes

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A tractor-trailer hauling about 15 million honey bees to be used to pollinate blueberry fields crashed and overturned on Interstate 95, officials in Clinton, Maine said.

The driver was taken to the hospital as a precaution Thursday night while first responders worked to ensure the safety of the bees that were in hives strapped on the trailer, which landed on its side, officials said.

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The bees were mostly contained and the “goal was to save them,” said Shannon Moss, state police spokesperson.

First responders didn’t realize the cargo was bees until firefighters went down an embankment to check for leaking fluids, said Fire Chief Travis Leary.

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They learned the hard way.

“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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The temperature in the 40s might have kept the bees from getting rowdier during the several hours it took to get the truck upright and removed by a tow truck, he said. A beekeeper was summoned to corral the bees, he added.

The truckload of bees was headed to Washington County, which is the center of the state’s wild blueberry industry. Bees are routinely trucked into the region to pollinate the blueberry barrens each spring.

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Photo: In this image provided by Maine State Police, emergency crews work to remove a tractor-trailer hauling 15 million bees to be used in pollinating the state’s blueberry crops after it overturned on Interstate-95, Thursday evening, May 9, 2024, in Clinton, Maine. The driver was taken to a hospital and most of the bees were contained, officials said. (Maine State Police via AP)

Copyright 2024 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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