Deputy in standoff with bees

Bees cover a Wake County deputy's car Tuesday (Shae Crisson)
August 17, 2010 3:27:25 PM PDT
A Wake County sheriff's deputy found himself in serious need of a SWAT team Tuesday after getting into a standoff with a huge swarm of bees that covered his police cruiser.

Pictures from the scene showed the insects crawling all over Master Deputy Brandon Jenkins' Dodge Charger.

"I'd say there were millions at least, bees flying everywhere," he told ABC11.

It happened along U.S. Highway 64 at Exit 425 around 9:45 a.m. Tuesday when a truck carrying bee hives broke down. Jenkins went to help the truck driver, but ended up getting swarmed himself.

Jenkins retreated inside his car and called for help. He admits he had to use deadly force a few times when some of the insects got inside with him.

"It was more or less self-defense. There were a couple of bees in my personal space, my comfort zone, and I just wanted to get them out," he explained.

A bee keeper from North Carolina State University was called in to use smoke to try and corral the insects and return them to their hives.

"These are your typical Italian honey bees, the kind most bee keepers have, and they're not aggressive," said beekeeper Jennifer Keller. "They're just very confused. They don't have a queen to guard and they're kind of lost so we're trying to help them out."

Once Keller got most of the insects off Jenkins' car, the deputy got in and slowly drove away to get the rest of them off.

The owner of the truck said it was on its way from Dobson to Rocky Mount when it suffered mechanical problems with 60 boxes of bees on board.

The incident shut down Exit 425 for several hours Tuesday, but it reopened early Tuesday afternoon.

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