According to the FMCSA Federal Register Notice, the California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF) has requested an exemption from the 30-minute rest break provision for drivers who are transporting bees.
The exemption would allow CMV drivers transporting bees to operate without taking the daily 30-minute break.
The CFBF is a trade organization that represents stakeholders in the beekeeping industry. In its appeal, the CFBF cites a report in Scientific American that states the bee populating has significantly declined over the last several decades. The absence of the bee population could result in a loss of 1/3 of the nation’s crops, the appeal states. Bee pollination is essential for almonds, apples, lettuce and several varieties of berries, and many other types of crops.
Because of the dwindling bee population, the bees must be transported across the country to provide crop pollination.
During transport, bees must be exposed to a constant flow of fresh, cool air. The CFBF maintains that if a driver is required to stop for 30 minutes during warm months, the impact on the hive could be “significant and possibly fatal.”
The FMCSA is seeking public comment on the exemption.