Five million bees relied on Delta Airlines to safely get to their new homes

Delta Airlines Was Supposed to Transport Five Million Honeybees. It Let Them Die on a Hot Tarmac Instead.

Pesticides have been mass-murdering bees all over the world. As a result, farms, nurseries, and orchards in many places rely on commercial shipments of bees in order to pollinate their crops. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have apples, oranges, blueberries, watermelons, almonds, and more. Delta Airlines is fairly familiar with this situation. Many times in the past, it has handled shipments of millions of bees, heading from Sacramento, California to beekeepers in Anchorage, Alaska. But last month was different. This time, Delta neglected the pollinators to death. It abandoned crates filled with five million pollinators to starve and bake to death on an airport tarmac — in hot Atlanta, Georgia.

The whole catastrophe started when Delta rerouted the bees. Then, it delayed their travel to the correct destination for days. And finally, it ignored their care instructions. Delta was fully aware from previous shipments that the bees had to be kept cool, with temperature control, and to have easy access to their food sources. Yet personnel stacked the bees’ hundreds of crates out directly in the Atlanta sun, where it was upwards of 80 degrees outside — far too hot for the little captive creatures. Then, the airline just left them there.

East Coast beekeepers tried to rush to the bees’ rescue, but it was already too late. By the time the first helper arrived, a full one-quarter of the bees had died. By the end of the day, very few remained alive at all. Those that survived found new homes with Georgia-based beekeepers and nurseries. Delta has supposedly apologized to the Alaska beekeeper who coordinates such shipments, and she is filing a reimbursement claim with the corporation after its epic, deadly mishandling. But that’s not sufficient: millions of lives have still been lost. The pollinators of the world need Delta to take real responsibility. Delta must immediately commit to helping bees by donating to bee-protecting projects! Sign the petition if you agree.

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