Trucker Rethinks Next Haul After Crash With Bees

trucker bees accidentSALT LAKE CITY - Truck driver Louis Holst has never been scared of bees, but he's rethinking his next long-haul load a day after being swarmed by 25 million of the stinging insects.

Holst and his wife, Tammie, picked up 460 bee hives in South Dakota and were about 36 hours into their drive Sunday night when he hit a sharp bend in a construction zone on Interstate 15 in southern Utah. The twist in the road toppled his trailer and sent the bees into a frenzy.

"First responders came and drug me and my wife through the front window," Holst said Monday. "Then we panicked."

Swarmed by bees on the highway, Holst said he ripped off his shirt and began swatting the air. His wife ran.

"We just started swinging our clothes," he said. "They stung her all up and down her neck."

Authorities closed the southbound lanes of I-15 near St. George for several hours while area beekeepers headed to the scene to try to corral the insects. The road was reopened early Monday morning, and Holst said most of the bees were either dead or gone.

"Nobody was prepared for anything like that," he said.

At least two first responders also were stung at the scene, said Utah Highway Patrol Cpl. Todd Johnson.

Holst, 48, of Gig Harbor, Wash., said he got 10 stitches to close a gash on his forehead and was stung about a dozen times. His wife, too, suffered stings, bumps and bruises.

The 25 million bees were headed from Adee Honey Farms in Bruce, S.D., to near Bakersfield, Calif., where they stay for the winter before being used for pollination come spring, company co-owner Richard Adee said.

"It's pretty much a complete loss," Adee said of the $116,000 load.

Holst's trip was among the last of 160 truckloads of bees -- roughly 4 billion of them -- the farm had been sending south for winter, Adee said.

Asked whether he'd haul bees again anytime soon, Holst -- who normally ferries lumber and construction materials -- paused.

"Well," he said, "my wife's looking at me right now, so I'll say no."

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So, did local law enforcement fan out with insecticide cans and flamethrowers to make sure the potential menace to the public was completely eliminated?

October 27 2011 at 3:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ahhh so THAT'S where all the missing honeybees are .. Dang bee hoarders!!!!

October 27 2011 at 3:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Let me get this straight. They'd been driving for 36 hours. Any sleep during that time? And the "twist in the road toppled his trailer"? Yeah, right. That mean ol' twist in the road couldn't have done that unless they were SPEEDING. They brought this on themselves.

Hope they have enough money stashed away to cover the $116,000 loss. I don't see why insurance should cover this, because, again, they brought this on themselves.

October 27 2011 at 1:56 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply


October 27 2011 at 12:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's hilarious how they wrote this....

"The twist in the road toppled his trailer and sent the bees into a frenzy";

I guess that sounds better than the driver simply was driving too fast....I wonder if the police gave the "twist in the corner" a ticket for causing the accident?

October 26 2011 at 11:58 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
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A true story. We used to live in the woods, in south Florida. These Canadians would truck convoy in bee hives. Then drop them off all around our property. They collected honey which they sold back to the US gov't at astounding prices. I am allergic to bee stings; we got the city/ county and the property owners to have the hives moved. If the subsidies went to proper American business I would probably not have been so upset. I have read that bees are not as abundent as they once were. Maybe the profit motive has been removed.

October 26 2011 at 7:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

crazy thing is..they harvest all the Honey bees just for this farmers would have to rent them to get a crop to grow..they have taken Gods creations and put them under their control for greed and to control the food..they used the african Killer bees to destroy the humble Honey bee's..and they engineer'd their own breed of bee's to charge the Farmers now Rent the Bee's for a large amount of money..or they have to buy "Monsantos" genteically made seeds that grow without the pollin..problem with that food is not even Rats will eat has gentically induced pesticides within the most of the nutricients no longer may look bigger and healtheir..But it like eating a fake food that has no life with in it..just steroids and pesticides..They used Nicotine in growing crops to help Kill the Honey bee's off..made the Honey bee's addicted and they would stay out and never return to the hive and farmers found them laying dead all over the fields..Satan is at work people..cause they need to control it all in order for us to have to take the mark.666..Obama healthcare program had that included..that we must be chipped in order to see a doctor..a woman pointed that out in front of people and they escorted her out..peace..stay close ..Judgement is on the way

October 26 2011 at 7:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to revivalkingdom's comment

This explains why "princess" Pelosi said: "We have to pass the bill before we know what's in it". It's all about giving-up control, freedom, profit and greed to the government. A good video to watch about genetically altered foods is FOOD INC.

October 26 2011 at 9:16 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Used to be all trade and construction jobs were primarily black and white men on them. Now when you drive by or hire someone to perform trade work you get fat little mexican trolls that don't speak english that are here illegally and you pay the same as if you hired honest American workers. The contractors pocket the money they save by hiring illegal aliens.

October 26 2011 at 7:24 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to juelz8y's comment


October 26 2011 at 7:32 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

So true..they have taken the summer jobs from youth so now they learn no trade while out of school..the employers expoit them not for wage reason..But they can hire about three of them to one American cause they don't pay SS,workmans Comp,Unemployment,and they can lay them off any time without paying unemployment insurance,they get no sick pay,personal days ,vacation and if hurt they just replace them and send them down the road..yep American come with to much red tape for employers and illgals are a much better deal..Now look at our Country,they have driven our Hospitals and social help so far down that all Americans are suffering..No jobs,no Gov. help,bank of America has upped int rates because Gov. backed their credit cards to illegals and they used several names and ran the cards up and dumped them on tax's almost as if our Gov. was trying to destroy our Economy and Country themselves..And we have not seen nothing yet..Obama did not need the votes the first time to win..and he won't need them this time..Welcome to Revelation ..

October 26 2011 at 7:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

wu-tang killa beez definatrely on da swarm!!!!!

October 26 2011 at 6:42 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

He cant blame the bees, he was the driver that could not drive his rig safely.

October 26 2011 at 6:41 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to vetracer119's comment

As a 25 year veteran of over the road trucking, I can tell you that your comment is wrong, had you read the article youd have seen that the accident occured in a construction zone on a sharp curve, so most likely the driver was going slowly unfortunatly accidents happen. I suspect your one of those drivers that drive in truckers blindspots or make unsignalled turns and exits in front of trucks thinking the driver can stop on a dime, Ive seen it many times in over 3 million miles

October 26 2011 at 7:16 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Coach's comment

Come on. If he was paying attention, and not speeding, this accident would have been avoided. Speeding doesn't have to be 80 a curvy work zone, it could well be 25. To me, it sounds like he wasn't paying enough attention. If you are a truck driver, you know how your truck will react, and a SMART driver will always be aware of what might be coming up.

October 26 2011 at 8:21 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down

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