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.”