Now here’s a novel partnership: Airports are teaming up with honey bees to detect pollution through pollination!

As you may know, the pollution rates around the globe are way higher than they should be, and continue to rise due to the emissions pushed out every day. 1 But now, with help from one of the planets most efficient pollinators 2, we have the ability to utilize nature itself to monitor how we’re affecting the quality of air surrounding us!

The Frankfurt Airport in Germany (and a handful of other airports throughout the country 3), have been teaming up with bees to monitor how and if  their various equipment are contributing to the pollution levels in their areas.

Thankfully, the Smithsonian has put together this awesome video for us to learn how bees are helping the world past pollination!

If you’d like to dive into their bio-monitoring program a little more, give this a listen!

There’s even another level of wonder to this!

It’s been reported that the bee population around the world is struggling to remain in tact due to various health challenges. 6 This is a huge threat to the continuation of the many natural plant species that depend mainly on the honey bee to spread their pollen, which in turn, has a threatening affect our own ability to survive.

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By utilizing the bees to detect pollution levels, the airports are providing them with a space that doesn’t have the constant threat of being destroyed or sprayed with pesticides, thus helping them survive! It’s pretty cool, right?

It’s amazing how something so small can affect the world in such a  monumental way!

Keep yourself open to new possibilities and happiness will stay nearby!

-Sam 

Want to ride this buzz a little longer?

Scroll down a bit to find a few related articles!  Or, spend some time exploring our entire category featuring some of the strides that have been taken to protect our planet by clicking the button below!

Environment on EWC

If you’d like to take your discovery in another direction, click the “Surprise Me!” button in the sidebar to have a random article delivered straight to your screen!

Notes:

  1. Ritchie, Hannah, and Max Roser. “Air Pollution.” Our World in Data. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2017. <https://ourworldindata.org/air-pollution/>.
  2. Sass, Jennifer. “Why We Need Bees.” NRDC. Natural Resources Defense Council, Mar. 2011. Web. 30 Aug. 2017. <https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/bees.pdf>.
  3. Mohn, Tanya. “At German Airports, Bees Help Monitor Air Quality.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 28 June 2010. Web. 30 Aug. 2017. <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/29/business/29airports.html?mcubz=0>.
  4. “Why Honey Bees Are Crucial Employees at This Airport.” YouTube. Smithsonianchannel, 05 Aug. 2016. Web. 30 Aug. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0ACRh2ugvs>.
  5. “Honey Bees Monitor Pollution at Frankfurt Airport.” Public Radio International. Public Radio International, 12 July 2011. Web. 30 Aug. 2017. <https://www.pri.org/stories/2011-07-12/honey-bees-monitor-pollution-frankfurt-airport>.
  6. “Survey of Honey Bee Pests and Diseases.” USDA APHIS | Survey of Honey Bee Pests and Diseases. United States Department of Agriculture, 07 Apr. 2017. Web. 17 Oct. 2017. <https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/plant-pest-and-disease-programs/pests-and-diseases/non-regulated/honey-bees/ct_survey>.

Samantha Burns

Executive Assistant, Staff Writer

Samantha is a listener, creator, collector of knick knacks and lover of most, if not all, types of cheese.