Friday, August 20, 2010

A "sting" operation with a colony of bees and a North Carolina deputy sheriff!

(Wake County, North Carolina): A sheriff's deputy was trapped in his car for three hours as tens of thousands of honeybees swarmed his vehicle.

Wake County deputy sheriff, Brandon Jenkins, answered a distress call of a disabled truck in the middle of the night. The vehicle was pulling a trailer of honeybee hives. As he helped load some of the broken boxes of bees back on the truck, they began to get irritable.

Jenkins, who took refuge in his squad car, could only watch as about 50,000 of the stingers swarmed over it. Wake County sheriff's spokeswoman Phyllis Stevens said: "They were confused, without their queen, they swarmed the police car probably because that was the biggest thing around that they could find."

The deputy even had to resort to deadly force when a few of the intruders got inside. "It was more or less self-defense," he said. " There were a couple of bees in my personal space, my comfort zone, and I just wanted to get them out."

Jennifer Keller, a beekeeping expert from North Carolina State University, was called to help and sprayed sugar water on the insects so they would lick each other and regroup, making it easier for the insects to be returned to their hives.

"I had never seen anything quite like that," Keller said. "The bees had nowhere to go. I guess they used the car as a resting spot ... I got one sting. I struck a bee, so it was my own fault."

Wake County surrounds Raleigh, the state capital of North Carolina.

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