A man has serious leg injuries after a truck he was in and a tractor collided on a rural Waikato road.
The crash happened on Wharepuhunga Rd, near Waikeria Prison, south of Te Awamutu, just after 10am today.
Sergeant Andy Connors of Ōtorohanga Police said it appeared the crash occurred when the apiarist's truck and the contractor's tractor and rake were travelling west towards SH3 near Happy Valley Rd.
The tractor driver slowed to turn right into a rural property and the truck driver attempted to pass.
The tractor was badly damaged and the truck rolled on to the driver's side — spilling much of its load of hives of honey.
The spilled honey attracted the attention of nearby bees but did not prove too much of a nuisance for emergency services.
The injured man, 52, was a passenger in the truck.
Diversions have since been lifted.
Northern fire communications shift manager Mau Barbara said the man was freed from his cab after initially being trapped.
An appliance from Hamilton and its specialist rescue equipment and crew freed the man who was attended to by St John Ambulance staff.
Firefighters also had gear to help deal with any angry bees but Barbara said crews hadn't mentioned any issues in dealing with the insects.
Te Awamutu deputy fire chief Karl Tutty said the priority was to gain access to the patient for paramedics, then to free and remove him from the vehicle.
He said it was a technical and slow-moving rescue due to the dynamics at the scene — not aided when the bees arrived.
A rescue helicopter airlifted the injured man to hospital. Crews had earlier prepared a landing pad opposite the crash site, between Lethbridge and Happy Valley Rds.
* additional reporting Dean Taylor