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18-wheeler flips on Texas highway, swarms of honeybees released

Monday, January 25th 2021, 4:11 pm - The resulting cost in damages is at least US$90,000, according to local authorities. No injuries were reported.

Hordes of honeybees were accidentally spilled onto a highway in San Antonio, Texas Sunday after an 18-wheeler that was carrying them rolled over.

The incident occurred just before 11 a.m. near the downtown core, according to police. The truck flip resulted from speed, wind and the driver's lack of awareness of the road's sharp curve.

SEE ALSO: Honeybees defend against Asian giant 'murder' hornets with dung

While some of the bees escaped the truck and fled the scene, those that remained nearby were killed after being sprayed by firefighters, police said.

Honeybees/Nathan Howes Honeybees. Photo: Nathan Howes.

As well, a second truck that was hauling bee boxes was involved in the accident, but it did not topple, according to officials. The resulting cost in damages is at least US$90,000, according to local authorities. No injuries were reported.

The incident closed the roadway for several hours as officials worked to clean up the scene.

In Texas, the populations of domesticated and native bees are dropping. A reduction in honey prices and natural threats, such as Africanized bees and varroa mites, an Asian bee parasite, have had a negative impact on the Texas bee industry.

Among the other threats to the state's bee populations are pests such as tracheal mites, and diseases such as foulbrood and chalkbrood. Honeybees pollinate approximately US$587 million worth of crops every year in Texas, in addition to playing an integral role in pollinating wild plants, according to the Texas Master Gardener Association.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension says honeybees are the only bee in the genus Apis in Texas.

Sources: KSAT | Texas Master Gardener Association | Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

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