The California Farm Bureau Federation has asked trucking regulators to exempt its bee-hauling members from the 30-minute break required of drivers by the 2013-implemented federal hours-of-service rule.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says the exemption, if granted, would apply to bee haulers nationwide.
CFBF says in its application for the exemption that bees must while in transit have “a flow of cool, fresh air to the hives” and any heat can place the bees in danger. If trucks transporting bee hives stop for 30 minutes in warm weather, “the risk of harm to the bees would be significant and possibly fatal,” CFBF says in its application, scheduled to be published Thursday in the Federal Register.
Bees are transported to crops in the U.S. to pollinate farm crops like almonds, lettuce, apples and berries, CFBF says. The crops depend on bees for pollination, and without them, a third of U.S. crops could be in danger, the application says.
FMCSA is accepting public comment on the request for 30 days, starting Thursday. Check back then for the link to the regulations.gov rulemaking portal.