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Bees on airfields

Dear all,

I refrained about posting about it last week as everyone had their minds focused on Covid-19 but maybe we need more entertaining topics these days.

My little project for this year is to set up tiny apiaries on airfields. They are ideal locations for that, with tons of space, little use of pesticides, relatively safe (hive theft is a real thing unfortunately) and, well, they are very conveniently accessible by air.

The first deployment occurred a couple of days before the shelter-in-place order using the trusty Aztec (talk about timing!). The plane is very easy to load from the rear baggage compartment once the rear seats are removed (a 5 minutes job) and it is a great tool for the job.

I’m now sitting on a hangar full of beekeeping equipment and the colonies that were scheduled to be installed on the first 3 airfields are growing in a local canola field so I’m not sure how I will ever manage to move them (they are getting heavier day after day, at least I think as I haven’t checked on them since the shutdown), but we’ll figure it out.

I’m planning on going full steam with this project once the shutdown is lifted, so if you are interested in hosting 5 hives at your local airfield, let’s get in touch! Now is the perfect time to get the paperwork done :-) Anywhere in Europe is fair game.



@wleferrand what a great project, and very positive, thank you for the post. I have a colleague who is a bee keeper but due to the current restrictions it may be some time before I catch up with him.

Bee keeping is good for morale as Virgil pointed out

Oxford (EGTK)

@RobertL18C Thanks for the kind words and the link to the poem! Makes me want to search for my old college latin books now to see if I can locate the original text :-)

Thanks for the special and original post !!

How many souls on board ?

Paris/Essex, United Kingdom

Thanks @Ibra, the hives on the picture are actually empty but there is a flight scheduled with 30 swarms. That’s ~3M bees :-) I’ll definitely report when/if it ever happens!

Good idea William ! I will talk about it to friends who know airport managers.

It reminds me of this :
It is a non-profit group (but set up by the airlines and CAT airports) that lists all species on airport/aerodrome grounds (like others, in the hope of finding a special one that would protect the airport).


Excellent, love it!,,,

LFHN - Bellegarde - Vouvray France

Wonderful post, wleferrand

Dimitris, the manager of Sitia LGST on Crete keeps (or used to, last time I saw him c. 10 years ago) bees near the VOR there. They probably grow extra large, at 112.9MHz

For years, there was a load of beehives in a secluded field near where we live. I never saw bees there but then didn’t want to get too close, either… One day they disappeared.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I can see an interesting runway excursion Accident Report.

EGPE, United Kingdom

@Maoraigh the hives are colorful so that the bees can find their way home AND fellow pilots can avoid them!

Also, 30 swarms are 300,000 bees, not 3M. I got a little too enthusiast about the project there :-)

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