The man killed in an early morning crash near Te Poi in Waikato on Wednesday was Grant Scott Gilmer of Tauranga, police say.
Mr Gilmer, 39, was driving a ute carrying beehives when the vehicle smashed into a power pole and flipped on State Highway 29 near Matamata.
Emergency workers and passing motorists encountered a large number of agitated bees as well as danger from live power lines.
An off duty police officer, who was also a beekeeper, helped with the recovery of the hives, and several attending emergency service personnel were stung many times, acting senior sergeant Dale Smith said.
Power company employees helped to make the scene safe enough for emergency services to treat Mr Gilmer, but he could not be saved, Mr Smith said.
His death was the 20th on Waikato roads this year compared to 43 for the same period last year, police said.