Colony collapse for honey bees has been a widespread problem across the country and the rest of the world. Because of increased public awareness, many people are now getting involved in beekeeping to help preserve biodiversity and the environment.
According to the CBS affiliate in Sacramento, one truckload of 40,000 pounds of bees on its way from California to North Dakota crashed in Bozeman, Montana, allowing swarms of bees to escape.
The accident happened on Monday, June 10th near Bozeman at the intersection of Gooch Hill Road and Durston Road when the big rig overturned, allowing for swarms of bees to escape. The truck driver and passenger were not hurt in the incident
Brian Nickolay, Assistant Fire Chief for the Hyalite Fire Department said in a statement that it was probably one of the most unusual calls that the department has ever received and firefighters had to battle bees while doing their job. To prevent themselves from being stung, firefighters wore full sets of firefighting gear while at the scene of the crash.
Sgt. Pat McLaughlin with the Montana Highway Patrol said in a statement to the media that while it is always possible for people to be stung by bees, the escaped honeybees posed no immediate threat to the public.
One local apiarist or beekeeper estimated that the accident lost only about a third of the estimated 133 million bees that the truck had been carrying.
The New York Post reported that it is uncertain whether the escaped bees were eventually recovered.