California Citizens First Face Swarm of 14 Million Spilled Bees and Then Warned Bears Are Coming

Drivers in Island Creek, Idaho this week encountered a “black cloud” of 14 million bees that spilled out of a truck on the highway. Now highway officials are warning residents — many of whom were stung by multiple bees — that they should now prepare for a swarm of bears.

Fire and rescue worker sprayed the bees with foam and tried to wash away the honey, but they doubt they got it all.

This would make for a fascinating tort question of causation. The trucking company is clearly negligent in the accident and responsible for the bees (and stings). However, are the bears part of the foreseeable outcome of the negligence. Damage by the bears is likely to be viewed as too remote to attribute to the company.
Source: Daily Mail

20 thoughts on “California Citizens First Face Swarm of 14 Million Spilled Bees and Then Warned Bears Are Coming”

  1. Beekeepers LOVE honeybees. It’s the only reason they do it because it certainly isn’t for the money.
    Beekeeping is hard work. The business of keeping bees is fraught with many perils including unpredictable weather, disease, parasitic infestation, and let’s not forget an unfavorable market; colony loss is not only painful in the pocket book, but also there is an emotional pain.
    That said,
    If someone wants to help the propagation of honeybees, the best thing to do is not to lament the loss of a single truckload of bees, but to buy local honey. And if local product is not available, then at least buy honey produced in the US.
    BKs can easily increase their colony count – it just takes money. And the better the wholesale price, the more bees we can raise. (and more people will become beekeepers)

    Even if one has little concern for the keepers, the propagation of feral colonies is aided by domestic production. Understand that bees will swarm once or twice a year, and though BKs will try to prevent the swarm (by splitting one large hive into two smaller ones), we can’t prevent every swarm… so the feral population is increased – and with bees selectively bred to be resistant to disease and parasites.

    You can also keep in mind that honeybees are not native to the Americas anyway. The whole reason for honeybees even being on this continent is for the betterment of man.

    Again, producing honey is the key to helping the honeybee.

    So buy, eat, and enjoy. It’s better than corn syrup or cane sugar anyway.


  2. I too find this accident to be a horrible waste.

    From what I can find on the interwebs that’s about 129K worth of bees if bought in multiples of the quantities sold to small buyers. I didn’t see anything that gave large-buy prices. That’s serious business.

  3. Dredd,

    Reading your link above got me to thinking that due to humanity’s ego centered pride and hubris, we see ourselves as the only sentient beings on this planet. Who knows if Bees and Ants, for that matter, have a collective intelligence equal to our own? They could be a smart as us collectively, but
    not see life as the need to conquer all they survey. Perhaps they just enjoy being alive?

  4. When did Idaho become California? (I just wanted to know if San Diego goes with the deal.)

  5. Hear, hear, Tom. In the meantime, eat, drink and bee merry (pun intended)… for, if something doesn’t give…

  6. to the beekeeper above (and from their perspective):

    It won’t be a great loss to the planet when we exterminate ourselves either.
    We’re too ignorant to live here. Maybe next time (say another 1,000,000 yrs or so). Hope we somehow “learn” from our mistakes.

  7. I’ve been a commercial beekeeper 20yrs.
    Unfortunately, it is next to impossible to recover hives spilled out all over the freeway.
    After such a traumatic event, the bees are too excited (once they get it in their head to sting, it takes days for them to recover to normal behavior). And even then, most likely the hive’s dynamics are disrupted too severely for the hive to recover even given the chance. Unfortunately, it’s just not practical.

    The beekeeper is likely insured for the loss of property (or they should’ve been) as transporting thousands and thousands of dollars worth of your stock pretty much requires it. They likely have liability insurance too.

    This happens more than one might think and beekeepers are all too aware of the hazards of transporting hives.

    The loss of the bees is indeed very unfortunate, but the beekeeper will most likely will be able to replenish his inventory. Relatively, this really not a big as deal as it may sound.


  8. I’ve been contacted by the LTLCU (the Lions, Tiger, and Large Cats Union) and they want to know why they weren’t contacted for swarming activities if the bears were mobilized. They’re not mad. They’re just terribly, terribly hurt.

  9. I’d rather a gigantic spillage of honey than an oil spill anyday!

    “I thought,” said Piglet earnestly, “that if Eeyore stood at the bottom of the tree, and if Pooh stood on Eeyore’s back, and if I stood on Pooh’s shoulders -”

    “And if Eeyore’s back snapped suddenly, then we could all laugh. Ha Ha! Amusing in a quiet way,” said Eeyore, “but not really helpful.”

    “Well,” said Piglet meekly, “I thought -”

    “Would it break your back, Eeyore?” asked Pooh, very much surprised.”

    “That’s what would be so interesting, Pooh. Not being quite sure till afterwards.”

Comments are closed.