Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Why So Many Crashes of Bee-Carrying Trucks?

Posted by Unknown Lamer  
from the bees-are-good-people dept.
Hugh Pickens writes"Interstate 15 in southern Utah has been reopened and officials say 25 million bees that closed the road have been accounted for after a flatbed truck heading for California carrying 460 beehives overturned near a construction zone. The bees were on their way to Bakersfield, California for almond pollination next spring. 'The driver lost control, hit the concrete barrier and rolled over,' says Corporal Todd Johnson with the Utah Highway Patrol. 'Of course we then had bees everywhere.' But a similar incident happened in July, when 14 million bees, as well as a river of honey, flowed out of a wrecked semi in Idaho; and 17 million bees escaped a fatal truck crash in Minnesota last year. Why so many highway accidents involving bees? The uptick results from more and more honey bee colonies being transported around the country via highways in recent years. Local bee populations are rapidly dying off from a little-understood disease called 'colony collapse disorder': 'The number of managed honey bee colonies [in the U.S.] has dropped from 5 million in the 1940s to only 2.5 million today,' says the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Unfortunately, some honey bee scientists suspect that the rise of migratory beekeeping may be contributing to the species' decline as transporting hives from farm to farm spreads pathogens to local bee populations."

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