Bee Haulers Want Exemption From HOS Break Rule

January 7, 2015

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Loading bees for transport from South Carolina to Maine to pollinate blueberries. Photo by Pollinator via Wikimedia Commons
Loading bees for transport from South Carolina to Maine to pollinate blueberries. Photo by Pollinator via Wikimedia Commons

California beekeepers are looking for relief from the 30-minute break provision of the hours of service rule.

Sitting in a warm trailer for 30 minutes without a flow of fresh air is dangerous for bees, the California Farm Bureau Federation told the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

“The risk of harm to the bees would be significant, and possibly fatal,” the agency says in its notice about the petition. The notice is scheduled for publication in Thursday’s Federal Register.

The agency said it is considering the petition on behalf of all bee carriers, not just those based in California.

Bees are vital to pollination of many crops, including almonds, apples, lettuce and berries. But bee colonies have been declining and now bees must be transported by truck to farms to provide pollination.

The hours of service rule requires drivers to take a 30-minute break within eight hours of their last off-duty or sleeper berth period. The exemption would allow bee drivers to work without the break.

FMCSA last summer granted a similar exemption for livestock haulers.

The agency will be accepting comments on the petition for the next month.


  1. 1. B Humphrey [ January 08, 2015 @ 06:31AM ]

    This application sounds like team drivers would be a good solution without needing to modify the rule.

  2. 2. hltrucking [ January 08, 2015 @ 07:45AM ]

    This rule needs to be suspended pending review just like the 34 hour restart ruling. If reviewed, I think a lot of people would realize how much production they are losing from it with no gain in safety because people are then rushing to get a 14 hour workday compressed into 13 1/2 hours...

  3. 3. Jean H [ January 08, 2015 @ 08:01AM ]

    I am all about animal rights...and I believe that the government is trying to be led in the right direction concerning that topic. Bees are really important, just as chickens, cows, pigs, and all of the animals that provide our food. It's despicable however how they are treated and tortured in the process. I am all for it and it should include any creatures of the animal kingdom that are either transported or raised for consumption. Since I’m on my soapbox, they should put an end to this dog fighting problem we have as well.

  4. 4. haller [ January 17, 2015 @ 08:24AM ]

    So then chicken haulers don't have to take brakes, and what about drivers that are hauling live things like lady bugs for large organic farms, they should be trained in driving very long hours without taking a break. I know of a trucker who hauls fresh worms of all kinds for casings and for fishing, she shouldn't take breaks either. These trucks should be equipped with a Bunn coffee maker.


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