Semi rollover sends millions of bees onto Seattle interstate

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SEATTLE, Wash. — A semi-truck loaded with more than 40 million bees overturned on Interstate 5 near Seattle Friday morning, sending more and more angry insects into the air as the temperature warms up and traffic intensifies.

According to FOX31 Denver sister station Q13 FOX, the crash occurred sometime before 4 a.m. Friday morning near Milepost 183 at the intersection of I-5 and I-405. The semi-truck blew a front tire and overturned, Washington State Patrol Troopers said, sending more than 448 honey bee hives onto their side onto the roadway.

The driver of the semi-truck was not inured in the crash.

The bees remained calm at first in the cool morning air, but are growing increasingly agitated, WSP troopers said.  Firefighters were on the scene spraying the bees with water, and a company from Burlington suited up in an attempt to calm and remove the bees.

At least two Q13 FOX photographers, along with reporter Kelly O’Connell, were stung as the bees waken with the sun. Once temperature gets above 55 degrees, the bees will stop clustering together and branch out, Seth Smith of Valley Buzz Beekeeping said.

Officials warned removal of the bees could a good majority of the day, and encouraged drivers to roll up their windows and close their vents while driving by, as a number of passing motorists reported being stung near the scene.

A local beekeeper called the crash a “big blow” to local beekeepers. However, as long as the queens are alive, lots can be saved.

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