A semi truck wreck on Interstate 80 released millions of bees into the surrounding area at approximately 4 p.m. Wednesday just less than 30 miles west of Laramie.
A truck owned by Wisconsin-based Rushfeldt Farms was traveling eastbound on I-80 when the driver apparently fell asleep at the wheel, said Wyoming Highway Patrol Trooper Aren Peter. The cargo on its flatbed trailer contained beehives with a full load of honey bees. When the semi veered off the road, the truck landed on its passenger side, releasing the agitated bees, Peter said.
Though an ambulance from Laramie arrived on the scene, the driver refused medical attention.
Peter said the driver and owner of the truck was more concerned with recovering the scattered bees.
“I asked him if he was tired or exhausted, and he said he was ready to work and kept going,” Peter said.
Peter said he could see bees in every direction when he arrived.
“I would say probably a football field in any direction from the truck was swarming with honey bees,” Peter said.
There were no eyewitnesses, but Peter said two trucks stopped to make sure the driver was OK.
However, Peter said they decided exiting their trucks was not a good idea. He said he was advised by the driver that anyone in the area would take some stings.
“He said, ‘They’ll sting you if you get out of your car,’ so I stayed in the car the whole time,” Peter said.
Beekeepers from Albany and Carbon counties volunteered their time to assist the driver, Peter said. Some Carbon County Fire Department volunteer firefighters were also beekeepers, he said. A deputy from the Albany County Sheriff’s Office also arrived on the scene, as well as Wyoming Highway Patrol Trooper Mike Petruso, Peter said.
“The tow truck driver and all the volunteers took some stings, is my understanding,” Peter said.
The driver was cited for failure to maintain a single lane of travel.