Most of about 5 million honeybees bound for Alaska, in a shipment of 200 crates, ordered by Alaska beekeeper Sarah McElrea from a distributor in California, had died from heat and starvation after Delta Air Lines routed them through Atlanta, where the bees were left for hours in crates on the ground during hot weather at 83 degree Fahrenheit . Dozens beekepers based in Georgia were alerted and rushed to the airport to help evite tragedy with only partial result.The shipment was worth about $48,000. Delta called it an “unfortunate situation.” The honeybees were to be used to pollinate apple orchards and nurseries in Alaska. More than 300 beekeepers were waiting for their pollination services. Alaskans increasingly rely on imports for bees to pollinate crops for spring and autumn harvests. McElrea, who runs a business called Sarah’s Alaska Honey, said that she had received previous shipments of honeybees on Delta from Sacramento, California, to Anchorage via Seattle many times. McElrea said in future she would take a fleet of vehicles to carry the bees directly to Seattle from Sacramento, where they could fly to Alaska.
Bees pollinate plants, which means they carry pollen between plants of different sexes to fertilise them, or even between different parts of the same plant, which help plants reproduce. Average honey bee can visit more than 2,000 flowers in one day. They are very important to human life as vital part of our ecosystem. We need bees to keep our crops and earth healthy.