On Friday morning, a semi-truck tipped over on the interstate in Washington, spilling its contents. The truck was not carrying corndogs, cheese, or chickens.
It was carrying nearly 14 million honeybees, which were returning from a job pollinating an apple orchard. Although they stayed in their boxes for a while, busy making honey, they began to swarm around the highway, covering the reporters on the scene and the suited-up beekeepers trying to rescue the cargo.
At one point in Kiro 7’s broadcast of the accident, reporter Jeff DuBois said, in between one of his periodic attempts to swat away bees, “the beekeepers are now on scene. I never thought I’d say that.”
By 6 a.m., the local fire department covered the boxes with fire suppression foam and water, and what started as a rescue mission quickly turned into a recovery of bodies.
As Mark Emrich, president of the Washington State Beekeepers Association, told the Seattle Times, “Wet bees don’t last very long.”
Construction equipment was used to pick up the dead bees. Kiro 7 noted on its Facebook page, “Some are calling it #beenado, while others are taking the insects’ death seriously.”