Man worried too many bees being killed on Kern County highway

Man worried too many bees being killed on Kern County highway
TAFT, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Jim Smith, who travels along Highway 119 on his way to Bakersfield, said Wednesday that he's concerned about the bee boxes, used in an orchard, along the side of the road.

“The bees, as soon as they go out of their hive right there on the highway, they get killed. Splattered," Smith said.

He said he understands the need to have the bee boxes for pollination purposes, but he said he feels that passing motorists are killing off too many bees.

Smith is particularly concerned because bees pollinate around 70 percent of the world’s crops, and they are on the endangered-species list. He even noticed a shortage of bees at his own home.

“There are not very many bees to pollinate my flowers and fruit,” Smith said. "The wasp is pollinating my flowers, instead of the bees."

The company that owns the orchards along that stretch of highway is Olam International, a global supply chain manager and processor of agricultural products and food ingredients. Eyewitness News contacted the company to discuss the bees but didn’t receive a response.

Smith said he isn’t trying to start a problem, but instead to hopefully find a better solution so the bees can be better protected.

“It can be changed. All they’d have to do is take a fork lift and move the bees closer into the orchard," he said.