Bees swarm after truck overturns in Delaware

NEWARK, Del. - Tractor trailers loaded with goods flipping over on the highway are relatively normal occurrences. Often, state police have to respond with ordinary sanitation crews to clean up the mess. Sometimes, the hazmat suits come out when there's some hazardous or flammable chemicals on the roadway.

In Delaware on Tuesday, for the first time in 14 years, the state police had to activate its "Bee Swarm Removal Plan," reports CBS Philadelphia.

A big rig was hauling an estimated 20 million bees Tuesday afternoon from Florida to Maine when it crashed on the ramp from northbound 898 to northbound I-95 in Newark, Delaware.

Many millions of those bees got out and swarmed the area.

Paul Dill, a beekeeper, told CBS Philadelphia: "They've been traumatized. They can get a little irritable."

The state police's "Bee Swarm Removal Plan" involves rounding up local beekeepers and fire crews, who strategically disperse the swarms. Once that's done, the tractor trailer can be turned upright.

Beekeeper Dave Feinberg told CBS Philadelphia that if anyone nearby happened upon some escaped bees, "don't spray them, don't kill them, call somebody before you kill them, your local beekeepers association."

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

The only reported injuries were the 55-year-old driver and two passengers, aged 24 and 25, who suffered only minor injuries in the crash itself but were stung 50 to 100 times each by the bees. They were transported to the hospital in stable condition.