It just doesn’t feel like a “Fun Friday” anywhere in the world, so here is a strange set of stories, almost identical.
Three incidents involving semi-trucks that were transporting bees; two in the US state of Mississippi in the past month and one in Montana in June 2019.
What's going on guys? These weren't collisions, just drivers that don't seem to have been paying attention... poor honeybees!
On March 15, 2020, a flatbed truck hauling over 40,000 honeybees crashed on eastbound Interstate 20 in Newton County. The crash sent the bees swarming, and traffic came to a standstill. Beekeepers showed up and attempted to capture the insects, although we don’t know if they were successful. A Mississippi Highway Patrol Trooper said the honeybees made the situation challenging for first responders to clear the crash.
On February 11, 2020, an 18-wheeler carrying honeybees overturned near Vicksburg, which is close to the Mississippi River. According to the Mississippi Highway Patrol, the driver and truck ran off the road and overturned in the median. No reason for the accident was given, but Highway Patrol announced that they were taking steps to have the bees safely recovered, although we don't know if they were successful.
Around June 10, 2019, a semi-truck crashed while transporting 40,000 pounds of bees, near Bozeman, Montana. The crash was caused by the driver making a hard turn and tipping the rig over. As if they were making a jail break, swarms of bees escaped from the crashed truck. The truck was traveling from California to North Dakota so the bees could be delivered to their new home. There is no news about what happened to the bees. A local beekeeper supposedly told the media that 40,000 pounds of bees would be about 133 million bees. That's a lot of bees to fly off in swarms all at one time. You can see bees flying around in the short video (less than 1 minute long) below:
Three incidents, but very little coverage about what happened to the victims... the bees.
These are difficult times globally. Our world is like a gigantic beehive, and the consciousness of many humans is focused on this new virus, an unseen enemy. Honeybees have been dealing with a similar situation for years, in their beehives, constantly trying to fight off or avoid the Varroa destructor mites that bring sickness and death to them. Now we can really relate to how they must feel.
Many of us are staying home for unknown periods of time, wondering what comes next, after the crisis. Ponder this... now is a perfect time to learn about beekeeping so you can become a hobby or certified beekeeper for after the virus dies down and we can all get on with our lives again.
BEE Careful and BEE Safe... BEE Compassionate and BEE Calm...
Thanks for reading our blog posts, see you next week! :)