Bee swarm traps deputy in car

Aug. 18, 2010 at 2:49 PM
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RALEIGH, N.C., Aug. 18 (UPI) -- A North Carolina sheriff's deputy whose patrol car was swarmed by 50,000 honeybees was rescued after he called 911, authorities say.

Deputy Brandon Jenkins stopped to help a disabled tractor-trailer carrying honeybees near Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, the Raleigh News & Observer reported.

"About 60 or so boxes of bees had fallen off the truck," said sheriff's spokeswoman Phyllis Stephens.

Jenkins, with the help of the truck's driver and a tow truck driver, put the boxes back on the truck as the bees continued to swarm.

The truck driver told Jenkins the bees would follow the truck as it was towed away -- but the insects didn't cooperate.

As Jenkins returned to his patrol car the bees swarmed it, trapping the deputy inside.

Jenkins called 911 and waited.

The dispatcher called the state Department of Agriculture, which sent out Jennifer Keller from North Carolina State University.

Charles Heatherly, past president of the North Carolina Beekeepers Association, who lives nearby, also arrived to help the bee-trapped deputy.

"I've never seen that before, spread all over the car," Heatherly said.

Keller and Heatherly used smoke to calm the bees and collected them in a box.

A relieved Jenkins exited his patrol car unscathed and unstung.

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