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A man in a beekeeper suit is on the scene after a tractor-trailer hauling honeybees overturned on the ramp from Route 896 to Interstate 95 near Newark, Del., releasing as many as 20 million swarming bees, Tuesday, May 20, 2014.

Suchat Pederson, Associated Press - Ap

Traffic along I-95 are met with a warning sign from DelDOT to keep their car windows closed due to swarming bees on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 near Newark, Del.

Suchat Pederson, ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP

After crash, up to 20 million bees shut down Delaware highway

  • Associated Press
  • May 21, 2014 - 3:35 PM

NEWARK, Del. — Delaware transportation officials on Wednesday warned motorists along Interstate 95 near Wilmington to keep their car windows closed and avoid unnecessary stops because of honeybee swarms unleashed by the crash of a tractor trailer carrying 460 hives.

The ramp to I-95 in Newark reopened more than 12 hours after the rig carrying an estimated 16 million to 20 million bees crashed Tuesday. Crews were spraying foam in the area to contain the swarms.

"There's still some bees out there," said state police spokesman Sgt. Paul Shavack.

The accident prompted state police to activate for the first time a honeybee swarm removal plan that was established in 1995, Shavack said.

"It worked really well," he said.

The plan, which was updated in March, involves a response network of beekeepers statewide. Three beekeepers from New Castle County responded to the scene after Tuesday's accident. The initial response including using fire hoses to tamp down the swarms.

Shavack said he was told that the bees were being transported from Florida to Maine to assist in blueberry production.

The driver of the truck, Adolfo Guerra, 55, of Miami, was cited for unsafe shifting of load or cargo.

Guerra, his son, and another passenger were taken to Christiana Hospital for treatment of minor injuries from the crash and multiple bee stings.

© 2014 Star Tribune