5 million bees fall off truck, drivers told to keep windows closed: Halton police

By Jordan Omstead

Local beekeepers were thanked by police west of Toronto for springing into action Wednesday morning after a truck spilled crates carrying five million bees onto a road.

Halton Regional Police said they received a call around 6:15 a.m. Wednesday reporting the bee crates had come loose from a truck and spilled onto Guelph Line north of Dundas Street in Burlington.

It created “quite the scene,” said media relations officer Const. Ryan Anderson.

“Crates literally on the road and swarms of bees flying around,” he said. “The initial beekeeper that was on scene was apparently stung a few times.”

The scene prompted police to warn drivers to close their windows as they passed by and for pedestrians to avoid the area.

Within about an hour of police putting out a notice on social media, Anderson said several beekeepers were in touch with police to help. Six or seven beekeepers eventually arrived on scene, he said.

“We’ve kind of had an overwhelming response who have come to help us out at the scene, which is greatly appreciated,” he said.

By around 9:15 a.m., police said the majority of the five million bees had been safely collected and the crates would be hauled away. Some crates had been left behind for the uncollected bees to naturally return to.

“I don’t know where the bees were going or where they’re coming from, but they’re leaving, so we’re happy about that,” he said.

A colony of honey bees in summer has around 50,000 to 80,000 bees, according to the Canadian Honey Council, a national association of beekeepers.

Banner image: Beekeepers Terri Faloney, left, and Tyler Troute remove bees from a car after a truck carrying bee hives swerved on Guelph Line road causing the hives to fall and release millions of bees in Burlington, Ont., on Wednesday, August 30, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 30, 2023.