Friday, February 03, 2012

Finally - Freight To Buzz About!

Well, after forty-one days off, we've finally gone back to work - and the first load we hauled was honey bees! We've hauled bees before, about four years agoand at the time weren't sure what to expect.
We were told that while the sun was up, we had to keep moving because the bees generate heat and heat can kill them. We learned the first time that if stopping for food or fuel, it had to be done quickly. Or ideally, at night. Now that we know the basics, we're pros. The guys that loaded us were great, laying out the netting on the truck before loading the palettes of hives onto the truck.

Then they put more netting on the top of the load, draping it all around and securing it with heavy duty clips. All that we needed to do was throw a few straps on it, as you can see in the photos. They wore bee suits, we stayed in the truck until they were done loading.

This trip, the bee guys affixed a hose to the top of the truck, with holes in it to act like a sprinkler for the bees. When we stopped for fuel or any time during the day, if it was over sixty-five degrees, we had to attach the hose to the water source at a fuel island and soak the bees for thirty minutes.

The water helps to cool the hives while stopped and when we start moving again, the air flow and the water keeps them from getting overheated.

Even though they're covered with netting, some of them still get out. You can see them here, trapped under the netting. When we're stopped, a few escape and buzz around the load. No one wanted to park next to us with this load.

Can you blame them?

Here's one final close-up of the little suckers...

I find this to be one of the more interesting loads that we've ever hauled - we don't often get to move anything that's alive.

The shipper included an information sheet with the bill of lading, and one of the things I found out on this load - that we weren't told on the first load of bees - is that they carefully clean the palettes to make sure they're free of any ants or beetles before we leave their location. The reason for this is because the agriculture check points in Arizona and California are very strict, and if they see ants or beetles on the load, they can turn us around and send us back to Florida. Now wouldn't that have sucked??

The bees must've loved the trip since they got treated like royalty - everything is about their comfort and keeping them alive. Although, I think we get a wee bit of royal treatment too - I can't imagine any DOT officer wanting to keep you longer than necessary once they see a load of bees on your trailer. I don't think anyone will be requesting to do an inspection - especially if the sun is shining!

HERE for some more information on honey bees from the National Honey Board.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
For The Crybabies
Chillin’ In Utah
Taking The Peas For A Ride In A Cozy Little Shell
Wyth Jane’s Kin In Wytheville
Color In Architecture
Living On


Gil said...

Pretty interesting! Are the bees you are moving being sold out to someone West or are you moving them out there just to pollinate crops?

BeadWhisperer said...

I never thought about bees being transported. Interesting! Hm! Who knew?

Belledog said...

So you are a rolling apiary now.

Keep those little guys (and gals) safe. They do important work.

And hope they don't know about your exploits last year, when you dispatched some of their relatives.

Last, lucky you, going to California.

Angela said...

I couldn't have done this particular load. For one, I loathe anything smaller than a plane with wings. This includes bees of all kinds. And while I know that Honey Bees are good for the world, I hate them.

And honestly it's not just hate... I'm terrified of bees. I freak out or freeze solid when confronted with one. Even a dead one. It's not pleasant.

But kudos for you and Ed for taking care of the bees that will likely be in charge of pollinating some of the food we will all consume this year.

ELH said...

Salena....does this make you the QUEEN B ??? enjoyed the pics,,

The Daily Rant said...

GIL: The bees are being moved to pollinate crops. The last time we did it, they went from an almond grove in California to an orange grove in Florida. It's so interesting that they move 'em around like this. I never knew!

BEAD WHISPERER: I know. I never knew before we did it four years ago either.

BELLEDOG: We always joke about the ones that are left behind!

GIGI: I'm not too fond of bees either. When the guy loaded us, he was leaning in the back of the sleeper as I was signing the bills and there was a bee on his shoulder. It was very lethargic, moving very slowly, but I was watching it like a hawk. I didn't want it in my truck! LOL

ELH: I've always been the Queen Bee in this truck! LOL