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Nearly five million bees died after expedition ran aground on hot tarmac

The bees were supposed to travel from Atlanta, Georgia to Anchorage Airport in Alaska on Delta Airlines shipments, but they died in a tragic “disaster.”

Beekeepers are ‘devastated’ after nearly five million insects died after being left on hot tarmac.

The winged creatures were waiting to be shipped to Atlanta, Georgia when the crates carrying them were forced to wait on the tarmac and perished as a result.

Sarah McElrea, who runs Sarah’s Alaska Honey, said she was waiting at Anchorage Airport in Alaska for the £800 worth of bees to be sent but was dismayed to hear the news.

She said KTOO “I really freaked out when they found out they moved them outside because the pheromones these bees give off attract other native bees to the area.”

It was around 26C in Atlanta on Wednesday when it happened.







A bee pollinates a pretty flower
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Picture:

NurPhoto via Getty Images)


Volunteers from the Georgia Beekeepers Association rushed to the airport but were unable to save the insects.

Gina Galucci, from the association, said: “It’s a disaster.

“So even though we mobilized very, very quickly, we did it because we know they’re going to die. And so the person who bought these bees lost a lot of money. So we’re going to try to ‘help support with some donations for it.’

It is believed that bees escaped from their crates which is why it was decided to move the boxes outside the airport.

Delta Airlines, the travel manager, called the incident an “unfortunate situation”.

A company spokesperson said: ‘We have been in direct contact with the customer to apologize for the unfortunate situation.

Today it is estimated that there are around 80 million bees in the world, but their population is declining due to habitat loss, pollution and the use of pesticides.

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