About 200 packages of bees were supposed to be flown directly from Sacramento to Anchorage aboard a Delta flight on Wednesday, but somehow, the containers ended up in an Atlanta airport warehouse, the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association said.
After several days, the bees started to escape, causing employees to move the packages outside. By that time, the Alaska beekeeper was trying to make sure the bees survived and contacted the association.
"Big shout out to MABA board member Edward ‘Bean’ Morgan Jr. for taking a call from a desperate Alaska beekeeper whose bees were stuck on the tarmac at Hartsfield Jackson," the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association wrote on its Facebook page. "Edward spent hours at the airport, worked with the folks at the cargo terminal, and fielded lots of calls from MABA members."
Despite their best efforts including spraying sugar water for the hives, members said many of the bees died in the heat.
Members showed up and rescued as many of the bees as they could. The association said their members will need to pay close attention to those bees because of the amount of stress they were put through.
Currently, there are seven bee species listed as endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and there have been concerns colonies have been collapsing at alarming rates. It was not clear if any of the bees being shipped were among those in endangered.
It was not immediately known how the bees ended up on the East Coast let alone in Atlanta.