Air Travel

Sea-Tac Airport Is Infested With Bees (On Purpose)

Also at the airport: The TSA reverses decision to allow knives on airplanes again.

By Allison Williams June 5, 2013

Downsides of the airport: Security lines, flight delays, the least comfortable chairs for upright napping ever designed. Upsides at our airport: live music performances, announcements by Macklemore. And now, a home for bees.

Today the Port of Seattle announced that in partnership with nonprofit The Common Acre, they've installed 18 honeybee hives and 500,000 buzzing bees on airport lands. See, the airport has tons of empty land and the honeybee colony collapse is a scary mystery that's maybe going to lead to a massive pollination disaster and worldwide food shortage.

So will a half-million bees at Sea-Tac stop that? Probably not, but lead beekeeper Bob Redmond hopes the program will be a model for others—and the more bees, the better. Redmond is the founder of the Urban Bee Company, which specializes in all things buzzy: honey delivered via bicycle, house-call bee help. The partnership is called Flight Path and represents one of the first apiaries in a U.S. airport. (But the area already has tons in hotels and restaurants!)

The hives are located in three areas of the airport lands, near the Tyee golf course and west of the airfield. In January, an exhibit linking bee flight to airplane flight and featuring local artists will open on Concourse B. It's just one more cool secret of Sea-Tac.

Oh, and remember when the Transportation Security Administration was going to start allowing small knives in carry-on bags? Today they officially reversed the decision after getting pressure from the airlines. No word on whether you're allowed to bring a pet honeybee aboard.

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