Beekeepers Working at Airports

To help capture swarms, beekeepers are setting up apiaries on airport properties, which are usually surrounded by woods, grass, or creeks.

via Air and Space

The program benefits the airport as well as the honeybees. “Swarming is reproductive behavior,” says Repasky. “In the spring, a healthy colony will split in half, and will take off in a swarm to locate a new home, traveling upwards of a mile or more. While they’re searching, they’ll stop to rest on the first solid object they can find, whether it’s the wing of an aircraft, a runway taxi light, or a luggage cart.” To combat this behavior, Shertzer and Repasky have placed 15 “swarm traps” around the perimeter of the airfield offering the bees alternative landing spots. It’s worked: Whereas the airport used to have 15 or more swarms a year interrupting air operations, in the past year they’ve had just three.

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