The National Academies

ACRP Synthesis 11-03/Topic S10-18 [Active (Synthesis)]

Considerations for Establishing and Maintaining Successful Bee Programs on Airports
[ ACRP 11-03 (Synthesis of Information Related to Airport Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 10/23/2019 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Marci A. Greenberger
Research Agency: VHB
Principal Investigator: Carol Lurie
Effective Date: 10/1/2020
Fiscal Year: 2020

Final Scope

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:

·       Survey pertinent literature.

·       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.

·       Information to collect should include

Ø  number of hives,

Ø  environmental conditions

Ø  relationship model with beekeeper (e.g., internally v. externally managed),

Ø  hive management,

Ø  operational issues being on airport property (e.g., access, security),

Ø  challenges/threats/opportunities,

Ø  funding

Ø  other issues (e.g., threats against the hive such as disease)

Ø  efforts to encourage native bees

Ø  beekeeping agreements, public solicitations, and other available information

Ø  liability

·       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.

·       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.).

·       Describe any further research needed to fill gaps in knowledge.


North America interview locations the research will consider include, but are not limited to SFO, PIT, ORD, YMX, YYZ, YVR, IND, MCO, APA, OLM, DTW, ATL (Delta Airlines), and small general aviation airports.  International locations for additional consideration include Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Dresden, Hannover, Leipzig/Halle, Nuremberg, Munich Malmo Airport, Dublin and Copenhagen.

Partial Information Sources
Non-wildlife-attracting Native and Naturalized Turf Species Suitable for Use on Airfields Manager for Wildlife Hazards in the Northeast. [Project].  Federal Aviation Administration. Start date: 21 May. 2009.

Topic Panel
Joseph Carney, Georgetown Municipal Airport TX

Sara Kaplan, Wayne County Airport Authority MI

John Metcalf, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority FL

Tracey Young, Jackson County Airport TN

Nayeem Hoq, FAA

Teresia Schatz, ACRP

Melinda Pagliarello, ACI-NA

Carol Lurie, VHB




TRB Staff
Marci A. Greenberger

Demisha Williams



First Panel Meeting: 8/25/2020, via Zoom 
Teleconference: 10/14/2020 2p EDT via Zoom
Workplan Delivered: 10/19/2020  
Comments Due (Email): 10/26/2020 
Draft Report Delivered: 2/15/2021
Second Panel Meeting: 3/8/2021, via Zoom


To create a link to this page, use this URL: http://apps.trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=4911