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 Capilano’s Managing Director, Ben McKee, excused himself from the 3rd Australian Bee Congress, which was taking place at the time, to personally check on the welfare of our team members in hospital. Ben and other team members then attended the accident site at first light and all practical steps were taken to salvage and re-hive as many bees as possible. The response team 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 our employees, who are understandably shaken by their accident, and we ask their privacy be respected, Mr 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.