Beekeeper John Woodworth and I suited ourselves up in protective garments. Robyn videoed from a distance as John opened a bee box lid and lifted up a wood frame. Dozens of bees walked around on the waxy honeycomb they’d built inside. He pointed out the queen. Nearby honeybees were protecting the eggs she’d laid.
He pointed to the frame sides. That’s early season wildflower honey, he explained. Soon the remaining empty hexagons would be filled with darker honey from fall plants. Food for the baby bees, and special food for humans, too.
I never expected to find Bees at an airport! John led us to three bee-keeping sites while huge inbound planes roared just over our heads. In the far distance, morning light glinted off Mt. Rainier behind airport runways and terminals at SeaTac (Seattle Tacoma International Airport).
Founding beekeeper Bob Redmond of Urban Bee Company started this project in August of 2011. His non-profit Common Acre: Culture and Agriculture is bringing pollinators into the wildland habitat program on buffer lands owned around the airport. They also plan to educate the public about bees in an art-and-education exhibit located, as Bob quips, “In Terminal Bee.”
When we produce this video, Bee There or Bee Square! Watch Beekeeping Takes Flight at Sea-Tac Airport (episode 273).