Sea-Tac Airport buzzing with new way to protect honey bees

SEA-TAC AIRPORT, Wash. -- Sea-Tac Airport is launching a new environmental program to help save the world's honey bees, which are dying at alarming rates due to colony collapse.

The airport has 853 flights a day -- among the busiest in the nation, but thousands of bees now take off 10 times a day from a dozen hives hidden in the far corners of the runways.

Bob Redmond knows bees are dying around the world, and if there are no honey bees, there's no pollination, and no food.

"70 or 80 percent of the variety of food that we eat is pollinated by bees," said Redmond, who runs the program. "So without bees, we'd be eating corn and wheat and rice, pretty much."

So Redmond got a few thousand dollars from small donors and asked Sea-Tac to let him use their vast open land. It's a perfect place raise genetically healthy honey bees, and Redmond says the bees don't present any threats to jet engines.

So his plan will supply local beekeepers with healthy honey bees, which helps local farmers.

If you're wondering whether Bob gets stung a lot, he does.

"Yeah, it hurts," he said. "But after that, I don't swell up any more. Just get used to it."

In order to fund the operation in future years, they're going to take the honey from their hives and sell it on the open market.

For More Information:

The Honey Bee Project "Flight Path"

To donate via Kickstarter

How can you help bees in your yard