Swarms of bees saw their chance for escape when a semi-truck carrying them crashed on Monday.
The semi-truck, carrying 40,000 pounds of honey bees, was traveling from California to North Dakota when it crashed on a rural intersection near Bozeman, Montana. No humans were injured in the crash.
Hyalite assistant fire chief Brian Nickolay told CNN his crew had never been involved in a call like this. He says the team’s first priorities were to ensure the safety of the driver and passenger and to address a diesel leak from the truck.
At the time the Hyalite fire crew arrived, the driver and passenger were already out of the truck.
Nickolay said much of the truck’s load remained intact. And while there were lots of bees when he arrived on the scene, he estimates just a quarter of 40,000 pounds had actually been set loose.
To be safe, the Hyalite fire department wore its full set of gear while on the scene, Nickolay said.
A local apiarist told CNN affliate KBZK, 40,000 pounds of bees is equal to around 133 million bees.
Montana Highway Patrol Sgt. Pat McLaughlin told CNN that with such a large quantity of bees, there is always a chance people will be stung, but there was no immediate risk to public safety.