Outnumbered 50,000 to 1, deputy calls for help

KNIGHTDALE -- It started as a routine stop to help a disabled tractor-trailer Tuesday morning on the Smithfield Road exit off U.S. 64.

But when Brandon Jenkins, a Wake master deputy, arrived to help, about 50,000 honeybees were swarming the stalled vehicle.

"About 60 or so boxes of bees had fallen off the truck," said sheriff's spokeswoman Phyllis Stephens.

Driver Kenneth Marshall was en route from Dobson to Rocky Mount, so Jenkins contacted a Rocky Mount tow service. The tow truck driver and Jenkins helped Marshall put the boxes back onto the truck while the bees continued to swarm.

"They were the Italian variety," Stephens said. "They are not aggressive and not dangerous. But there was some concern because it was close to a neighborhood."

Marshall told Jenkins that the swarming bees would likely follow the truck holding the boxes when it pulled away.

The bees had a different idea.

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