Bees Come In For a Landing at the Airport

Airport_Beekeepers_600Beekeeper 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).


  1. Ginger, what a wonderful event! I just read about it on your website. Love the line about sharing “two different types of flying machines that ‘BUZZ'”. If we come to southern Indiana, we’d love to meet you, perhaps video a show about The Buzz, if you’re so inclined!

  2. Robert, Thanks for your wonderful comments. We’re really glad to hear you’ve been inspired by our shows, and even more that you plan to implement some of the excellent permaculture ideas in your Donegal home. If life brings us to your fair isle, we’ll come knock on your door! 🙂

    As for “doling out all this free information online” – when we started putting Peak Moment online 7 years ago, Robyn and I decided to make them free rather than pay-per-view. And certainly we’ve had tons more viewings this way! We appreciate support from viewers, since we’re doing this largely through self-funding — primarily our social security.

    Love to have you in the Peak Moment network of friends. Stay in touch!

  3. We’ve had bee hives for almost 10 years at the airport called Lee Bottom Flying Field located in Southern Indiana. Just finished hosting an event called ‘THE BUZZ’ in which beekeepers set up displays about their buzzing passion while pilots buzzed in to taste different varieties of honey and honey ice cream.

  4. Robert Jordan says:

    Hi Janaia,
    Greetings from Dublin Ireland!

    I’ve been watching your Youtube videos off and on for about a year. Just recently, as I’m recovering from prostate surgery, I’ve been researching permaculture and planning for retirement next year. Peak moment keeps appearing in the suggestions list.

    Today I’ve watched the video you did with Bill Wilson several years ago and I want to say ‘Thank you’ for your making these talks available. Community gardens, self sufficiency from the back garden, permaculture. Brilliant. We do need to do something for sure and I plan to start a small ‘food forest’ at my Donegal home (it’s easier to live in it than my Dublin city home!). I have 2/3rds of an acre and because I’m never there for more than a few days at a time, for 14 years, I’ve been NOT starting anything, because I know I may not be back for several months. Sooo frustrating.

    Now, however, thanks to you and others online, doling out all this free information, I’m going to start germinating some tree seeds of native trees for, shelter from wind, for fences and (later) firewood) and of course for food. We have some folks here in Ireland who for the last number of years have been re-discovering old native varieties of plants, trees, fruit and veg and are distributing the seeds via online contacts. i love the combination of modern technology for permaculture purposes … like Bill Wilson’s webinars.

    Anyway, thanks again for the info and for your continuing efforts on our behalf.

    Robert Jordan
    I post as Ecoboy.

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