Alaska distributor loses 5 million honeybees in airfreight reroute


About 5 million honeybees bound for Alaska got waylaid when Delta Air Lines routed them through Atlanta, where most of the bees died after being left for hours in crates on the ground during hot weather.

The bees were the first of two shipments ordered by Soldotna beekeeper Sarah McElrea from a distributor in California. McElrea said the loss is devastating. She runs Sarah’s Alaska Honey and also coordinates shipments of bees to beekeepers around the state to pollinate orchards and nurseries.

The bees were bumped from their original route to Anchorage on April 24, and instead put on a fli...

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