Nearly one million bees destined to make honey died after they were left on a hot UPS truck for weeks, according to a report.
The bees were shipped from distributor Mann Lake Ltd. in Pennsylvania weeks ago and were headed to Massachusetts, CBS Boston reported. The bees were reportedly on their way to beekeepers in the New England area but the packaging the bees were in had issues and delayed shipment UPS reportedly said.
“We have been working with the customer over the last couple of weeks, making multiple attempts with local beekeepers to safely contain and move the bees,” UPS said, according to the report.
Former Massachusetts Department of Agriculture inspector and beekeeper Anita Deeley told the outlet “almost all of them could have been saved if they called someone right away.”
Deeley said the bees had access to limited food that only lasted a few days. (RELATED: Man Returns To Car To Find 15,000 Angry Bees In His Backseat)
“It’s really, really sad,” she said, noting a beekeeper could have been called to help rescue the honeybees. “Honeybees are dying in society. It’s really sad and it’s also really disappointing for new beekeepers who ordered bees in the mail and were not to be able to get them.”
Some of the bees were rescued by a beekeeper brought in by UPS who managed to find the survivors and save them, according to the report.
Deeley said bees are “very important for our eco-system” and “normally don’t want to sting you.”
“Bees are really gentle, they normally don’t want to sting you,” Deeley said, according to CBS Boston. “They are really, really important pollinators. They pollinate about one third of food that we eat. Without bees we wouldn’t have most of the fruits and vegetables that you see on your table.”
Honeybees “are the species most commonly used as commercial pollinators in the US,” according to Planet Bee. Almonds, for example, use honeybees for 90% of their pollination, according to Planet Bee.
Honeybees did see a decline in population growth in 2006 but since then honeybee populations have been steadily increasing, according to the USDA.
Honeybees get most of our attention, but there are thousands of species of wild bee species—and many are disappearing https://t.co/RRhasnArOy
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) May 20, 2021