Here are some interesting facts about Honey Bees:

  • A bee produces up to a teaspoon of honey in a lifetime
  • All worker bees are female
  • Beekeeping dates back at least 4,500 years
  • Honey Bees beat their wings 200 times per second
  • A hive of bees will fly a total of 55,000 miles to produce a pound of honey
  • Bees have 2 stomachs, one for food and one for nectar
  • In the winter, some worker bees take on the duty of “heater” bees, vibrating their bodies to keep the hive at 95 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Bees will not leave the hive in rainy conditions or if the wind is over 20 mph

This last fact was brought to my attention by a friend of mine who has recently become an Apriast, or beekeeper. She was talking about a recent wind event where the winds were 80 mph. She made the observation that the bees did not leave their hives at all. They instinctively know that anything over 20 mph is too much for them to handle, so they hunker down and wait it out.

We Should Take Notice

Wind can topple a truck fairly easily. Depending on vehicle weight, wind direction, and speed, it can happen quickly with little to no warning. With delivery appointments, tight transit times, and some overbearing dispatchers, we sometimes feel the need to “push through” or ‘chance” it.  But a blow-over accident can not only be financially crippling, it could cost you or someone else’s life. 

It’s easy to think it would never happen to you but the fact is, every time you take the chance is one more chance for it to happen. The decision to safely operate your vehicle is up to you. The best thing you can do is bee prepared. (see what I did there?) 

Wind gusts don’t just happen in the open. Be careful coming out from under an overpass, or passing buildings, silos, or trees. Basically anything that can block the wind may have a gust waiting for you once you pass it. Hang on with both hands and expect it. You don’t need to hang on with a death grip, that will just wear you out.

Use an app to plan for wind events. I personally like “Windy”. It shows predictive wind speed and direction up to 9 days in advance. You can read Team Run Smart Pro Jimmy Nevarez’s review of Windy here. It is a free app and is extremely helpful.

Be safe out there. If the bees can figure this out, so can we. Let’s not take any chances out there.

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Clark W Reed

Clark Reed of Roscoe, Illinois is an OTR company driver and trainer for Nussbaum Transportation based out of Hudson, Illinois. He has been driving since 2005 and has driven van, reefer, and tanker. He currently hauls dry van to all lower 48 states. Clark is passionate about MPGs and how driver habits influence them. The lifetime average of his 2018 Cascadia is 9.75 mpg, with eyes on 10. Clark, along with Henry Albert, was one of the seven drivers in 2017's "Run on Less" by NACFE, a road show, demonstrating what fuel efficiency can be obtained with existing technologies.

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