We raise and keep tens of thousands of honey bees on the ranch to make several varieties/flavors of organic honey and sell the honey as part of our income to sustain the ranch. We have also planted just hundreds of flowers, plants, more fruit trees and flowering bushes and shrubs that they love, and are "bee friendly", as they need both the pollen and nectar to live/exist.
Wild Honey bees have been having some decline in their populations in the US due to a variety a variety of awful issues. Loss of habitat due to more development of land, toxic chemicals in the environment, toxic pesticides/herbicides, drought areas losing flowers and plants that the bees need to feed off and climate change are the most important issues that the bees face. Most people do not ever think of honey bees and how important they are. We need them for our food crops (their role in agriculture is just huge) and also for the flowers, trees and plants in our eco-system.......birds, other insects and even mammals rely on bees for a host of reasons.
This is a terrible event, especially since these bees were being sent to Alaska and were to be sold/distributed to commercial bee keepers there. It's just plain horrible. I hope that Delta plans on compensating (monetarily) this woman for her loss, at least. Some crappy little apology just doesn't cut it. I also hope that she is able to find more colonies as soon as possible. This is really a big deal.......again, more than most people just won't even realize how disasterous this situation really is. Ugh.