Equipment and Coverage

Honeybee hives are packaged generally 4-6 hives per pallet, depending on the size of the hive. Generally, a full truckload consists of about 408 hives on a flatbed, and up to 520 on a step deck.

The proper equipment needed to safely haul bees consists of:

1. A breathable bee net. They are available in many different colors, but to reflect the sun and keep the load as cool as possible, the best option is generally a rainbow mesh net or a white net. Keep away from dark, sun absorbing colors that heat up the load. Flatbeds should buy nets with at least 8ft drops. Step decks should opt for 10ft drops to ensure the entire length of the trailer is covered. To prevent the spread of disease and fungus between each family of bees Bee nets should be sanitized with nontoxic cleaners after each haul.

2. V Boards, edge protectors and lumber are also needed to secure the load. Since bee loads are top heavy and the hives are boxes, they can shift and tilt in transit. This equipment helps straighten the load.

3. To secure the net and ensure there are no gaps between the hives and the edge of the trailer, the driver will need at least 16 straps and 100 bungee cords to fasten the load.

4. A watering hose to thoroughly water the load at night and early morning before take-off ensures they stay cool and hydrated during the journey, minimizing bee loss.

5. A half bee suit or heavy jacket and gloves are also suggested to avoid stings while strapping or in case anything comes lose in transit.

Honey bees, valued at $100,000 to $150,000 a truckload technically does not require specific coverage to haul. Although they are living creatures, honeybees are NOT considered livestock. In the U.S. the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act of 1999 (P.L. 106-78, Title IX) livestock is defined only as cattle, swine, and lambs. Many times, insurers will offer a temporary endorsement to haul bees. Each policy and insurer’s coverage’s vary- but legally, they are NOT considered livestock.

Also, the FMCSA has granted an exemption from the 30-minute rest break provision of the Federal hours-of-service of driver’s regulations to ensure the well-being of the Nation's bees during interstate transportation.