A scene investigation's underway south of Nelson after a milk tanker went off the road this afternoon, killing the driver, after he'd been stung by a bee.

The incident happened just after 2.30pm on the Kohatu-Kawatiri Highway on State Highway 6.

Police earlier told the Herald the driver appeared to have been stung by a bee before crashing off the road.

He died at the scene.

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A crane will need to be used to remove the tanker from scrub.

This part of the highway is now closed and a detour will add about 40-minutes to people's journeys.