Bees blind black lab

A trucker transporting honey bees through Arkansas went against several common sense travel guidelines...resulting in an attack on a farmer's dog.


You may not know it...but traveling next to you down the interstate or highway this time of year could be a trailer full of honey bees.

Tonight we have a story about how a pit stop by one such trucker in southeast Arkansas last week has left a black lab blind.

When cold weather invades the north, many beekeepers send their colonies south.

And when those tractor trailers stop for can be dangerous if those stressed and agitated bees get loose.

It was an unseasonably warm day on October 10th when just before 4:00 pm a semi hauling honey bees from South Dakota to southern Mississippi for the winter pulled into a truck stop just north of Dumas.

The Arkansas Agriculture Department requires that such bee colonies...which are considered livestock...have paperwork proving they are healthy and no threat to Arkansas bees.

But when it comes to the manner in which bees are transported...

"We do not have anything on our laws with transportation through the state," says Mark Stoll, Argi Division Director for the State Plant Board.

In this case...the bees were not properly secured. We know this because thousands got out.

And when they did, they attacked a farmer's 10 year-old black lab that was in the bed of his pick-up. In a matter of seconds, they swarmed and more than a week later the lab remains at an animal hospital and is blind.

The dog's owner was also stung several times as he jumped in his truck and drove away.

Stoll is thankful a child was not involved. But as far as how concerned the public should be about similar bee attacks in the future...

"This is the first instance that I have had reported to me and I've worked with for 16 years with the state...incident involving a truck like that first,” recalls Stoll.. “So yeah...I would say it's pretty low."

It is advised that bee colonies be transported at night or in cooler weather and that stops during the day in populated areas be avoided.

Millions of bees are trucked into California every year to help pollenate almond crops. California does have strict bee transport laws.

Air date: October 18th, 2018

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