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article imageThe buzz around the fuzz: Bees trap police officer in car

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By Lynn Curwin     Aug 18, 2010 in World
Knightdale - A sheriff’s deputy was trapped inside his car for three hours after it was swarmed with bees. About 50,000 honeybees covered the vehicle on the side of a road in North Carolina.
Deputy Brandon Jenkins had responded to a call about a broken down tractor-trailer on the morning of August 17.
"About 60 or so boxes of bees had fallen off the truck," the News Observer quoted sheriff's spokeswoman Phyllis Stephens as saying.
"They were the Italian variety. They are not aggressive and not dangerous. But there was some concern because it was close to a neighbourhood."
The boxes were placed back on the truck and Jenkins arranged for a towing company to remove the vehicle. The loose bees were expected to follow the truck but that wasn’t what happened.
When Jenkins got back into his cruiser, it was covered in bees, so he called 911.
Jennifer Keller, from N.C. State University, and Charles Heatherly, past president of the N.C. Beekeepers Association, showed up to help.
Heatherly said it was very unusual for bees to swarm in such a large group.
"I've never seen that before, spread all over the car," he told the News Observer. "They usually spread in small groups about the size of a basketball."
He and Keller sprayed the bees with sugar water and they began cleaning it from one another. They then used smoke to calm them while they got them into a box.
Jenkins got through the incident without being stung.
Heatherly took the bees with him, and said, "The deputies were absolutely happy for me to take possession of them.”
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