At yet another major airport an agricultural project is afoot and this time it’s a beekeeper maintaining beehives amid the flying airplanes and travelers.
The project is called YYBeez, and it has already produced a tasty batch of honey that is being called “Just Plane Honey.”
Pearson International Airport, Canada’s largest, formed the cooperation with beekeeper Kudip Jassal in order to protect bees as well as inform the public about their benefit.
Jassal also works at the airport as a public servant. He started working with bees as a way of combating allergies and is extremely comfortable around bees, preferring to work with them in just a T-shirt and jeans.
Jassal says, “I don’t call myself a beekeeper; I call myself a bee guardian.”
Jassal went on to add that he finds the bees to be relaxing, and he enjoys watching them fly. He maintains 29 beehives, although the one at the airport is probably the most unique.
The airport is totally on board with the project. The bees are kept outside, where travelers who might not be very comfortable around the insects do not have to come into contact with them.
The airport’s manager of environmental services Derek Gray claims that the airport is an ideal spot for hosting bees because of the widespread flowers in the area. Like many workers of the airport, Gray enjoys the bees.
Gray says, “It’s something unique we can do here. This is my 28th year at the airport, and this is one of the things I am so very excited about doing.”
Gray also said that it is very important that bees are protected. While the critters are responsible a large portion of food production through pollination, they are being killed en masse because of pesticides and climate change.
This unique method of urbanization is not only good for the bees, the employees of the airport also enjoy the honey, which for them is a major perk.
Airport employee Julia Fillmore says, “It’s delicious. It’s not overpowering; it has just the right amount of sweetness.”
Pearson International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world, as nearly 39 million passengers flew out of its terminals last year. Major airports around the world are embracing agriculture as a way of lowering their environmental impact. Schiphol, the Netherlands’ largest, has created an elaborate series of gardens to dampen noise while New York’s JFK recently began a farming project sponsored by discount airline JetBlue.