Interstate bee haulers get HOS exemption

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FMCSA has granted interstate bee haulers the exemption from the 30-minute break requirement in the hours-of-service regulations that was requested in January.

The California Farm Bureau Federation requested the exemption because bees, while in transit, must have “a flow of cool, fresh air to the hives” and any heat can place the bees in danger. If trucks transporting beehives stop for 30 minutes in warm weather, “the risk of harm to the bees would be significant and possibly fatal.”

FMCSA said the exemption is in line with the goals and strategies to protect the health of honey bees and other pollinators as stated in the “Presidential Memorandum Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators,” issued on June 20, 2014.

According to the CFBF, there are more than 1,600 beekeepers that transport their hives across the United States.

The exemption is limited to interstate bee haulers, with intrastate haulers not included. The 30-minute break exemption is valid during the transportation of bees and doesn’t cover the operation of CMVs after the bees are unloaded.

The exemption is also limited to carriers that have a “satisfactory” safety rating or are “unrated.”

FMCSA has granted the exemption for a two-year period, valid through June 19, 2017.