Driving Lesson: Avoid Bees

Crash stirs swarm, sending 10 to hospital

Thursday, August 3, 2006; Posted: 10:25 a.m. EDT (14:25 GMT)

OSSIAN, Indiana (AP) — A teenage driver crashed into a hollow tree and stirred up tens of thousands of angry honey bees, creating a swarm that sent her and nine others to the hospital.

“Those bees were mad,” said Volunteer Fire Chief Kent Gilbert, who was stung at least 50 times while trying to pull the 16-year-old driver from the wreckage. “I’ve never seen bees, especially honeybees, attack like that.”

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“You can’t really train for that. You don’t really know. You look for downed power lines. You don’t look for a million bees,” said Master Trooper Bob Brophy, commander of the Indiana State Police’s Fort Wayne post.

Bee expert Stan Grove, a biology professor at Goshen College, said the insects are most active in warm weather when they furiously fan their wings to cool the temperature of the hive.

“They don’t like to be jostled,” Grove said.


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