Truckin’ bees across the country

June 10, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: journalism.

Most people encounter honeybees through pictures of bees buzzing around flower blooms or possibly driving through the countryside and seeing hives in the middle of a field. More and more, people can see bees in urban areas, often atop tall buildings.

But bees on tractor-trailer trucks rolling down an interstate highway?

That is exactly where millions of bees spend a good deal of their working lives these days. They are part of a vast system of pollination services that provide bees to places such as the California almond groves and apple trees in Idaho.

Loading hundreds of hives onto trucks and keeping them alive and inside the hives for a cross-country trip is not a job for the faint-hearted.

A recent article on the website lays out some of the difficulties and challenges faced by these truck drivers:

“This is not like a load of steel or lumber. These are live creatures. This is those beekeepers’ livelihoods, so we do everything possible to keep them alive,” Earl Warren (the owner of a freight company that handles bees) said.

Some beekeepers estimate that every time you move a truck of bees, up to 5% of the queens die, Sharah Yaddaw, communications director at Project Apis m. (PAM), told FreightWaves. Founded by commercial beekeepers and almond growers in 2006, PAM is the largest honeybee nonprofit organization in the U.S. (A Day in the Life of a Honeybee Trucker,

This article will give you a totally different view of beekeeping from any that you are likely to see elsewhere. For those who say they are concerned about the long term health of bees, the article is a valuable view into the way in which we use the honeybee.

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