In 2015, a man in Montana decided to transport five Russian honey bee hives in a cardboard box in his vehicle. He was observed driving all over the road, and when he was pulled over, a highway patrol officer found thousands of bees flying freely in the vehicle as the man drove. He was cited for careless driving. What can we learn from this story? Don’t transport bee hives in a cardboard box in your vehicle and take several steps to be safe if one or more bees do fly into your car.
- Don’t panic. Even though it’s scary to drive with a bee in the car, stay calm. Remind your passengers to stay calm, too, since you need to think clearly and not be distracted as you prevent an accident.
- Stay focused on the road. Take your eyes of the road for even a second to find or swat the bee, and you could cause an accident. Remain focused at all times as you stay safe.
- Keep your hands on the wheel. Swatting at the bee might make you feel better, but you’re more likely to swerve into oncoming traffic or onto someone’s property if you take your hands off the wheel.
- Slow down gradually. Instead of slamming on the brakes, slow down gradually. Put your four-way or hazard lights on to alert other drivers that you are driving below the speed limit as you help everyone on the road drive safely.
- Find a safe place to pull over. Never stop in the middle of the road, on a hill or in another unsafe area. Find a safe spot and pull over.
- Shoo the bee out of the vehicle. Use a shoe, rolled up newspaper or other item to shoo the bee gently out of your vehicle.
- Be prepared if you’re allergic. Always carry a current EpiPen or allergy medication when you drive. It can be stored safely in your emergency kit, glove box or somewhere else in easy access. You want to be prepared in case you are stung by a bee.
- Drive with your windows up. If you absolutely do not want a bee to enter your vehicle, drive with your windows up.
It can be annoying and even dangerous to drive with a bee or other insect in your vehicle. Take these precautions as you protect yourself and everyone on the road. You should also make sure to purchase the right insurance for your needs since even your best efforts may not be enough to prevent an accident when a bee flies into your car.