Image: Overturned bee truck
Madeleine Leclair  /  AP
A truck carrying 12 million honey bees overturned on the Trans-Canada Highway in northwest New Brunswick on Monday, but police say rain helped contain the bees.
updated 6/30/2008 10:27:22 PM ET 2008-07-01T02:27:22

Some 12 million honey bees were released along Canada's largest highway on Monday after a truck transporting them overturned, police said.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the truck carrying 330 crates of bees was traveling on a ramp when the load shifted and the truck overturned.

A downpour of rain helped to contain the bees in and around the truck, police said.

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

Bee experts from Agriculture Canada were called in to help deal with the accident.

Richard Duplain, vice president of the New Brunswick Beekeepers Association, said it's difficult to predict whether the bees would be docile or agitated given their ordeal.

"It's certainly not a situation where you want to tempt problems," said Duplain. "You certainly don't want to go walking through a field of disoriented, agitated and wet honey bees."

Duplain said it's unlikely the bees would survive very long unless they're captured quickly because they wouldn't be under the care and attention of experienced beekeepers.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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