Local beekeepers help police catch millions of bees that were accidentally set free in Burlington
Published Wednesday, August 30, 2023 8:33AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 30, 2023 4:41PM EDT
With the help of a handful of local beekeepers, police managed to recapture millions of bees that were accidentally set free in Burlington on Wednesday morning.
Police said shortly after 6 a.m., a pickup truck was hauling about five million bees in crates using an open trailer when the crates slid onto the roadway on Guelph Line, just north of Dundas Street.
“I believe the straps somehow came loose,” Const. Ryan Anderson told CTV News Toronto on Wednesday.
“The crates came off of the trailer and opened up and about five million bees were set free in the area of that intersection.”
Police urged motorists passing by to keep their windows up and told pedestrians to avoid the area altogether.
Soon after police notified the public about the situation, officers said several local beekeepers offered to come to the scene to help.
Aerial footage of the scene showed people in white beekeeping suits placing dozens of crates back onto the trailer.
“We were fortunate. We had a lot of overwhelming support,” Anderson said.
“We had quite a few (beekeepers) show up. We were able safely get the majority of the bees back into the crates and loaded back up.”
No serious injuries were reported but Anderson said one of the first beekeepers to arrive on scene had to be assessed by paramedics after being stung “quite a few times.”
“No one has been transported to hospital. We haven’t had any reports of anyone being swarmed,” Anderson added.
While the majority of bees have been cleared from the area, police said a few crates were left behind for the bees they were unable to catch.
“The hope is that the bees that escaped will kind of naturally return to the crates and at some point the beekeepers will come and collect those,” Anderson said.
He noted that officers are still asking pedestrians and cyclists to steer clear of the area.
“It is safe if you are in a car to drive through there. Obviously don’t roll your windows down,” Anderson said. “If you have an allergy, definitely avoid the area.”
Police are also asking members of the public not to touch the crates that have been left behind.
“I don’t think any of us (officers) have ever seen anything like that,” Anderson said of the situation.
“We probably didn’t know we had so many beekeepers in the area… Their expertise was certainly appreciated and needed in what’s a unique situation for sure.”