Millions of bees got loose in Utah and made a run for it Sunday night. The bees — approximately 20 million of them — forced authorities to shut down a highway.
Officials in Utah told Reuters that the bees escaped after a flatbed truck carrying beehives overturned on Interstate 15. The truck was taking the bees to Bakersfield, California, to help with almond pollination.
“The driver lost control, hit the concrete barrier and rolled over. Of course, we then had bees everywhere,” Corporal Todd Johnson with the Utah Highway Patrol told Reuters.
The driver of the truck, Louis Holst, told the Associated Press that first responders came to the truck front window and drugged him and his wife.
“Then we panicked,” he said.
Officials shut down the highway Sunday night and Monday morning. Local beekeepers quickly came to the rescue and, working through the night, captured the escaped bees and sent them on their way.
“We stacked the equipment back together, put them back on trucks and trailers and whatever we could find to move them out of there,” beekeeper Melvin Taylor of Santa Clara, Utah, told Reuters. “Then we tried to move them as far out of the metropolitan area as we could. Because when those bees come alive today they are going to be mad that their house is all (broken) apart.”
Holst also told the Associated Press that the bee disaster has made him rethink his next haul.