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5 million bees fall off a truck near Toronto and drivers are asked to close windows

Beekeeper Mike Osborne uses his hand to look for the queen bee as he removes bees from a car after a truck carrying bee hives swerved, causing the hives to fall and release bees in Burlington, Ontario, on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023.
Carlos Osorio
/
AP
Beekeeper Mike Osborne uses his hand to look for the queen bee as he removes bees from a car after a truck carrying bee hives swerved, causing the hives to fall and release bees in Burlington, Ontario, on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023.

TORONTO — Police west of Toronto on Wednesday warned drivers to keep their car windows closed after a truck spilled crates carrying 5 million bees onto a road.

Halton Regional Police said they received a call around 6:15 a.m. reporting the bee crates had come loose from a truck and spilled onto Guelph Line, north of Dundas Street, in Burlington, Ontario, just west of Toronto.

It was "quite the scene," Constable Ryan Anderson said.

"Crates were literally on the road and swarms of bees were flying around," he said. "The initial beekeeper that was on scene was apparently stung a few times."

The scene prompted police to warn drivers to close their windows as they passed by and for pedestrians to avoid the area.

About an hour after police put out a notice on social media, several beekeepers were in touch with police offering to help. Six or seven beekeepers eventually arrived at the scene, Anderson said.

By around 9:15 a.m., police said most of the 5 million bees had been safely collected and the crates were being hauled away. Some crates had been left behind for the uncollected bees to return to them on their own.

A colony of honeybees in summer has around 50,000 to 80,000 bees, according to the Canadian Honey Council, a national association of beekeepers.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The Associated Press
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