Millions of bees bound for Alaska died on a Delta Air Lines flight after the plane was left on the tarmac in Atlanta, Georgia, following a diversion.
Alaska Public Media (APM) reported on Wednesday that a Delta plane carrying a shipment of around 5 million bees bound for Anchorage, Alaska, was forced to reroute to Atlanta. Most of the bees died in the Georgia city.
The shipment of 200 crates, ordered by Sarah McElrea of Sarah’s Alaska Honey on behalf of 300 Alaskan beekeepers, carried 800 pounds of bees and was worth an estimated $48,000.
The crates had been due to travel from Sacramento, California, to Anchorage Airport via Seattle, Washington. But the bees did not fit on the Seattle-bound flight and were instead rerouted through the Delta hub in Atlanta.
Delta told McElrea the bees would have to wait in a cooler last Saturday but they were transferred to the tarmac the next day over fears the bees were escaping. McElrea told APM the temperature in Atlanta was 80 degrees Fahrenheit on the day they were left there.