French motorway closed after hives fall out of lorry releasing bees

Dozens of hives were cracked open after toppling during a crash

The beehives split open after falling onto the motorway. The inset photo shows the motorway after the incident
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 Update May 6 14:55. The motorway has now been reopened to traffic in all directions.

A major French motorway has been temporarily closed after dozens of beehives fell from a lorry and cracked open releasing the bees during a crash.

The crash happened at around 7;00 today (May 6) when a lorry carrying fruit and vegetables collided with a pick-up truck transporting thousands of bees on the A7 motorway close to Avignon.

Dozens of beehives fell as result and split open, releasing bees and leaving debris strewn across the motorway. Four people were slightly injured.

Workers from Vinci Autoroutes that operate the busy motorway, which forms part of the ‘Autoroute du Soleil’ between Paris and Marseille – have temporarily closed traffic at exit 26 (Sénas) in the direction of Lyon. 

Read more: France beekeeping: are there rules for installing a hive in my garden?

As of 10:30, the motorway was still closed in this direction as beekeepers attempted to resolve the issue.

Drivers travelling towards Lyon will need to leave at exit 26 and rejoin the motorway at another exit. 

Around 5km of traffic was measured at 08:00 as drivers were forced to exit the road.

The road is not closed in the direction of Marseille where traffic is running normally. 

Read more: State of French roads causing alarm