Millions of Bees Swarm over California Highway

March 17, 2008 05:33 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
A flipped big rig released 8 million bees over a Sacramento highway. Bee populations are falling steeply, making the insects a pricy commodity.

30-Second Summary

Between $75,000 and $80,000 worth of bees were lost after a truck flipped over on Sunday morning in the southern reaches of California’s capital city. Highway patrol workers, fighting off stings, called in beekeeping experts to help control the insects and reload them into crates until a forklift arrived.

The rescue effort was important as bees are a key agricultural commodity, especially in central California where they are used to pollinate almond orchards. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)—a term that describes the sudden, so far inexplicable, disappearance of a bee population, which abandons the hive, queen and eggs—has killed off approximately one-quarter of America’s 2.4 million hives.

Cleanup from the truck crash will involve beekeepers going through the 440 dumped-over colonies and identifying each of their queen bees. Former beekeeper Jesse Young says some of the hives are probably “without queens and some with more than one. Where there's more than one, all but one will be killed.”

Headline Links: Truck spills 8 million bees, hampers traffic

Background: Colony Collapse Disorder

Reference: States affected by Colony Collapse Disorder

Related Topic: ‘Haagen-Dazs Acts to Help Save Dying Bees’


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