Bees swarm after truck overturns in Delaware

(The News Journal) -- State police are advising motorists to avoid the area of a tractor-trailer crash near Newark, not so much because of the wrecked truck but because of its cargo.

Live bees.

Thousands of them.

The tractor-trailer overturned about 6:10 p.m. Tuesday on the Del. 896 on-ramp to northbound I-95 at the outskirts of Newark, Sgt. Paul G. Shavack said.

The ramp is closed, he said, and troopers are warning motorists about "transient bee swarms in the area."

The truck driver and passenger were transported to Christiana Hospital's emergency room with injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening, Shavack said.

"We're not sure whether it was due to bee stings or injuries from the crash," he said, but a trooper is en route to the hospital to interview them.

The uncommon live cargo prompted state police to call in experts.

"We have three beekeepers on the scene and they are observing the situation," Shavack said.

Instead of trying to round up the bees, the expert suggested dispersing the swarms with water, he said.

So firefighters, coordinating with state troopers, are now "hosing down the bees at the advice of the bee handler that is on the scene," Shavack said.

"It seems to be having some progress," he said.

But plenty of bees remain buzzing around the wreck, he said.

Police have no idea yet how long dispersing them will take.

They have to get rid of the bees before they address righting and removing the tractor-trailer that was hauling them, he said.

"We can't even get close to the truck right now," he said nearly an hour after the tractor-trailer failed to negotiate the on-ramp's curve.

Once they are able to reach the truck, he said, they will be able to inspect the truck's paperwork to learn how many bees were in the trailer, where they were from and where they were bound.


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