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Swarms of Bees Invade Chengdu Toll Station, SW China

It's bee migration season in China and swarms of bees are literally being trucked across the country. Unfortunately, many of them are getting left behind at one toll booth, causing a problem for both drivers and workers.

This toll station in southwest China's Sichuan Province is buzzing with activity. Unfortunately, it's the wrong kind of buzzing.

Every afternoon, swarms of bees invade the Chengdu toll station on the Chengguan Expressway.

The toll station becomes a bee amusement park.

Many drivers close their car windows to keep the bees -- and their stings -- outside.

The toll station workers say that the bees migrate to follow the blooming season from mid-August to the end of October every year. During this time, many trucks carrying bees leave the northwest provinces of Gansu and Qinghai and drive to Yunan and Guizhou in the southwest, passing Chengdu on the way.

"The bee keepers must move the bees from Aba Prefecture [in Sichuan Province] to the Chengdu Plain, so many bees have to go through the Chengguan Expressway during this season."

When the trucks are moving, the bee boxes are well ventilated. But when the trucks stop at the toll stations, some of the bees fly out of the boxes for fresh air and get left behind.

"We have no way to stop the bees, no way to solve the problem."

To cope with the situation, the Chengdu toll station has opened special lanes for trucks carrying bees, put up special signs and organized workers to direct the traffic.

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