Honeybee swarm descends on drivers

Stock image | St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The buzz of an apparently displaced hive of honeybees made for an unexpected commute as drivers were swarmed while passing through the intersection of St. George Boulevard and 700 East Friday evening.

St. George Fire responds to several reports of bee swarms at the intersection of 700 East and St. George Boulevard, St. George, Utah, April 21, 2017 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

At approximately 5:24 p.m., emergency responders from the St. George Fire Department were dispatched to the intersection on several calls of bees swarming around individual cars.

“It appears a truck transporting bees just came through, probably stopped at the stoplight, and some escaped from the nets,” Jared Taylor, a professional who works with bees, said.

Taylor responded along with the Fire Department to assist with the situation.

“They were acting like it’s bees without a queen because they don’t have one (in) place,” St. George Fire Capt. Scott Peacock said.

The displaced bees appeared to be seeking a new location for a hive and were apparently inspecting each passing vehicle as a new potential home.

“They aren’t being aggressive to hurt anyone,” Peacock said, “they’re just flying and searching for a place to be.”

Bees swarm around vehicles at the intersection of 700 East and St. George Boulevard, St. George, Utah, April 21, 2017 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

Nonetheless, it was apparently enough of a frightful situation for the drivers who called in to report large swarms of bees flying about.

Responders were able to walk about the area without being stung, and no stings were reported by those who called in.

Nearby business owners said there usually aren’t many bees around the area, lending to the working theory that they are recent escapees from a bee truck.

Though bees were still buzzing about within a half hour of the call, they had already appeared to be spreading out from the area.

“There was quite a large number here when we got here,” Peacock said. “It’s thinned down now; you can still see a few flying around but not as many as there were.”

Taylor said the bees are likely to fully disperse from the area overnight and into Saturday.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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