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Beekeepers try to save as many bees as possible after semi loses hundreds of hives on I-80

Posted at 12:02 PM, Jun 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-28 00:44:42-04

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — Utah is known as The Beehive State, but an incident in Summit County took things a little too far Monday.

Traffic on Interstate 80 got quite the buzz Monday after a semitrailer hauling more than 200 beehives overturned on the highway.

The rollover accident occurred in the eastbound lanes near mile marker 149, just west of Atkinson.

Video of the accident scene shows thousands of bees swarming around the hives that were thrown onto the road from the overturned truck.

Several people were stung by the bees, including the driver, who suffered only minor injuries. Two people were transported to the hospital because of the stings.

Some local beekeepers came to try and rescue any bees they could, but the owner of the hives called them off because the incident is now an insurance matter.

"Unfortunately, more is damaged than not. Maybe 5 percent that’s salvageable," beekeeper Sam Cohen said. “It’s sad to see.”

“Every bee counts — you want to run up and see if we can help," fellow beekeeper Mckay Opeifa said. "There’s a lot of them that are dead already, so it’s kind of sad.”

One eastbound lane was closed for a few hours as crews clean up the beehives. The Rail Trail was also closed through the canyon due to all the bees in the area.

“They’re wild animals at this point," Cohen added.