Man drives 40 miles with 3,000 loose bees in truck

Posted at 7:02 AM, May 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-03 07:02:30-04

BUNCOMBE COUNTY, NC (WLOS/CNN) - One beekeeper's bugs escaped in his truck while he was eating lunch. 

He still had to drive home, so he drove about 40 miles with thousands of bees flying around loose in his cab. 

"I'm a beekeeper or a beegoter,"  Wallace Leatherwood said.

Leatherwood got "three nucleus colonies" of about 18,000 bees from Wild Mountain Bees in Weaverville

"I put them in the back of the truck and went to a look at a job," he said. Leatherwood builds retaining walls.

Afterwards, he went to Moe's Barbecue, where he tried retaining all his bees by moving the three boxes from the bed to the cab of the truck while he ate lunch inside the restaurant.

"I didn't have any shady place to sit them," Leatherwood said. 

Of how the boxes were secured, he said, "There's not much, just a little piece of tape around it." 

Somehow, the bees escaped.

"When I came out, this box was black with bees, and there were bees everywhere. I thought, well, I don't know what to do," he said. 

"I didn't want to lose my bees. They were $165, that little box is," Leatherwood said. 

Instead, Leatherwood drove around with about 3,000 bees flying around inside his truck.

"I thought, 'Well, I'm going to stop in where my son works at Ken Wilson Ford.' They're a bunch of scaredy cats," he said.

Brandon Singleton, who works with Leatherwood's son, shot a video of the scene.

"I knew he was crazy, but I didn't know how crazy he was until I walked out. And, man, there was just bees flying everywhere,"  Singleton said.

Leatherwood shot a video of his own while sitting in traffic on I-40.

"I got them over here. I got them up here. And I'm still here. Yes I am," he said. "Well, I don't use a bee suit 99 percent of the time, so I just cool with them." 

They were cool with him, too. He didn't get stung once the entire drive.  

"So, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it," Leatherwood said.

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