Hundreds of thousands of honeybees were suddenly set loose on an Oklahoma interstate Tuesday after a truck hauling the insects overturned.
The accident on southbound Interstate 35 in Garvin County, south of Oklahoma City, was first reported to authorities at around 1 p.m. local time. KOKH-TV reported that dozens of crates containing thousands of bees were scattered along the nearby exit ramp.
An image released by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol showed a Garvin County sheriff’s department vehicle coated by bees. Remarkably, Sheriff Larry Rhodes told the Daily Oklahoman that the deputy driving the vehicle, Carl Zink, suffered only one bee sting in the incident.
Others were less lucky.
“I got stung on the lip, on the end of the nose, mouth, the side of the eye and then the back,” said local Scott Woods, who pulled the driver out of the truck. KOKH reported that the driver was taken to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Beekeepers worked until dark to recapture as many of the bees as possible. As night fell, the remaining crates were set on fire to prevent the insects from swarming people.
“There is a bee shortage,” beekeeper Jim Stinson told KOKH, “[so] when they started talking about killing these bees here tonight, I threw a fit and said ‘Don’t do that till I get there.'”