Synthesis of Information Related to Airport Practices. Topic S10-18. Considerations for Establishing and Maintaining Successful Bee Programs on Airports

Establishing successful bee programs at airports is a trend in airport sustainability, helping to expand land stewardship goals and community engagement. Hosting bees and beekeeping while considering local land conditions and practices can also benefit local, native bee species and other pollinators that face population declines. Enhancing and/or preserving the foraging landscape with local, native plants can provide more and better food for all bee species and other native pollinators that do not interfere with airfield uses. Preserving and reintroducing native plant landscaping, in addition to providing pollinator forage, may also minimize landscape maintenance and land hazards to aircraft and provide mitigation for airport safety and development projects. The objective of this synthesis is to compile current practices at airports with active beekeeping and pollinator conservation programs that could be a reference for airports that are considering beekeeping and pollinator conservation within their land management programs. The audience for this research is airport operators and sponsors responsible for airport land management and other uses that support the airport mission. The following tasks and resulting information will be described in a concise report: (1) Survey pertinent literature. (2) Interview data from a diverse range of airports (geography, airport hub size, NASA bee forage regions) responsible for beekeeping or contracts with beekeepers to document practices. (3) Information to collect should include (a) number of hives, (b) environmental conditions (c) relationship model with beekeeper (e.g., internally v. externally managed), (d) hive management, (e) operational issues being on airport property (e.g., access, security), (f) challenges/threats/opportunities, (g) funding (h) other issues (e.g., threats against the hive such as disease) (i) efforts to encourage native bees (j) beekeeping agreements, public solicitations, and other available information (k) liability (4) Develop 10 case examples from interviews of airports and/or beekeepers on airport grounds, describing experiences, benefits, challenges and lessons learned from small DIY to commercial operation of many hives as well as management of pollinator habitat. (5) Provide appendix materials that display any helpful documents/checklists found during data collection (e.g., beekeeping agreements, solicitations, forage lists for USDA bee forage regions, local/state/county extension beekeeping resources, etc.). (6) Describe any further research needed to fill gaps in knowledge.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $45000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 11-03, Topic S10-18

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Project Managers:

    Greenberger, Marci

  • Performing Organizations:

    Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Incorporated

    P.O. Box 9151, 101 Walnut Street
    Watertown, MA  United States  02471-9151
  • Principal Investigators:

    Lurie, Carol

  • Start Date: 20201001
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01723639
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 11-03, Topic S10-18
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Nov 25 2019 5:28PM