20 million bees lost in Idaho crash

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — More than 20 million bees being shipped from Idaho to North Dakota were lost when a tractor-trailer carrying the insects tipped onto its side near a nuclear facility.

Firefighters in plastic suits from Idaho National Laboratory responded to the crash on Thursday and sprayed foam fire retardant to disperse the swarming bees, lab spokeswoman Laura Scheele said.

The bees were going to North Dakota to pollinate crops and make honey.

The area where the crash occurred on State Highway 33 is in the eastern Idaho desert. Nuclear facilities at the 890-square-mile lab site are far from the main road.


Butte County Sheriff Wes Collins said the driver and a passenger in the tractor-trailer were not injured and ran to safety when the bees started swarming. Several passing motorcyclists were stung.

The driver reported swerving to avoid a car, but investigators could not confirm that.

Associated Press