An explosion of live bees plagued the Tennessee-Kentucky state line on Monday morning when a semi truck carrying beehives was involved in an accident when an SUV made an illegal left turn. All drivers are without injury and the bees are okay too. Thankfully, the swarms weren't venturing too far off due to their hives still being in the semi trailer.
Driver of the beehive truck, Tony Pogribnichenko stated that despite the major car accident, the worst of his injury is “all those bee-stings.” Pogribnichenko was confident that once the curious bees had calmed down they would return to their hives and that's exactly what happened give or take a few of the original passengers. Pogribnichenko and the bees are now back en route to their South Dakota destination.
In an exceptional stroke of good luck (or good biology) most of the bees returned to their hives and were able to be loaded onto a new truck with minimal bee casualty. A major car accident involving a dozen hives is the last thing the bee community needs as honey bees have been dying at an alarming rate, which has only increased over the past few years.
Scientists have little hard evidence for one singular cause of the epidemic due to bee bodies being hard to find after they've died but researchers in the field believe the cause to be an unfortunate combination of evolving disease and an inability for bees to adapt quickly enough. A study by Harvard University found that environmental pollutants such as neonicotinoids, which are man-made, is what's causing these diseases to appear and advance so rapidly and is also a leading factor in Colony Collapse Disorder.
Because a honey bee population collapse would also mean an agricultural and economic catastrophe many scientists and beekeepers are stepping in to help aid the bee populations in safe and controlled environments such as man-made bee farms and beehives much like the hives on Pogribnichenko's truck. Anyone can help save the bees by planting bee-friendly flowers like lavender, mint, sunflower and poppies to buying local, organic foods which are less harmful to the environment to simply being more tolerant of honey bees that visit your backyard.