A truck packed with 25 million bees crashed in Utah today, only a few months after a smashed-up semi released 14 million bees Idaho. And last year, a Minnesota crash saw 17 million bees fly flee. Why so many incidents? LiveScience explains: As a mysterious bee epidemic continues to decimate the bee population, more and more colonies are being trucked between farms to help pollinate crops.
Since 2006, beekeepers have been losing some 30% of their hives every year, and “the number of managed honey bee colonies has dropped from 5 million in the 1940s to only 2.5 million today,” says the USDA. “At the same time, the call for hives to supply pollination service has continued to climb. This means honey bee colonies are trucked farther and more often than ever before.” But some fear the trucking itself could be spreading the pathogens behind the disease, which may ultimately cause a food shortage.