On 28 June 2018, a MediBee employee driving a truck containing 120 hives, which were being moved from Glen Inness to a new food source in Evans Head (NSW), lost control coming around a corner on a wet road. The truck rolled and was badly damaged.
The driver, and another MediBee employee accompanying him managed to escape with some injuries, but thankfully none were life-threatening, and they were released from hospital the following day. Medibee’s insurer has determined the event was an accident. As a result of the accident, a number of hives on the truck were opened, and badly damaged. The accident was promptly reported in the local news.
Immediately upon receiving the news our Managing Director, Dr Ben McKee, and Honey Supply Manager, Stephen Covey, excused themselves from the 3rd Australian Bee Congress to both personally go check on the welfare of the Medibee team members in hospital. Ben and Stephen then attended the accident site at first light. All practical steps were taken to salvage and re-hive as many bees as possible. The response team, mostly including beekeepers from the area, managed to save the vast majority of the bees.
In accordance with biosecurity laws, broken and exposed hives must be contained to eliminate the potential health risks to other bees who may try to rob from the material and accordingly damaged hive material was destroyed.
Capilano gratefully acknowledges the assistance that supportive beekeepers in the vicinity provided to help with this difficult task.
“Our immediate priority now is supporting and ensuring the continued recovery of the impacted employees, who are understandably shaken by their accident, and we ask their privacy be respected, Dr McKee said.
"We are happy to report the salvaged bees are doing well foraging stringy bark Eucalypts in central NSW.
“The false and insensitive claims made by one individual on social media today following the accident have been brought to our attention. We are very saddened by these baseless claims that are adding to our employees’ distress.”
We can confirm that the beekeeper who took the footage did not make any of the comments in the post and is shocked that the video would be used in such a malicious way.