Page last updated at 02:08 GMT, Tuesday, 1 July 2008 03:08 UK

Lorry carrying 12m bees overturns


Beekeepers attempted to lure the insects back to their hives

Motorists on Canada's biggest highway ended up with a bee in their bonnet after a truck transporting 12m of the insects overturned.

The lorry was carrying 330 crates of honey bees when it tipped over on a ramp in St Leonard, New Brunswick.

Bee experts were called in to help deal with the accident on the Trans-Canada Highway.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police said a downpour of rain helped to contain the bees in and around the vehicle.

"Bees don't like the rain... thousands of bees are hanging on the back of this truck and on the pavement right behind," said police spokesman Derek Strong.

'Disoriented and agitated'

The BBC's Lee Carter in Toronto says the bees had been used to pollinate a crop of blueberries, and were being transported home when the accident happened.

Afterwards, the highway was closed and beekeepers in white protective suits attempted to lure the insects back to their hives.

A Canadian journalist who tried to get too close to the overturned truck was stung several times, but no-one has been seriously injured, says our correspondent.

Experts said it was unlikely that the bees would survive very long without the care of experienced beekeepers.

Richard Duplain, vice president of the New Brunswick Beekeepers Association, told AP news agency the bees would quite likely be angered by their ordeal.

"You certainly don't want to go walking through a field of disoriented, agitated and wet honey bees," he said.

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