There are 30,000 or so new fliers calling the Olympia Regional Airport home this summer.
In May, members of the Olympia Beekeepers Association installed two honeybee hives in an airport field.
Along with wildflowers, the bees have been feasting on blackberries this summer.
Based on similar programs at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and other airports around the world, the beekeepers entered into a partnership with the Port of Olympia.
Airports make good pollinator habitat because trees are usually discouraged from taking root, and low-growing meadows and shrubs are encouraged. Those types of plants often produce flowers that provide nectar for bees.
Airports also make good locations for bee colonies because they stand less chance of disturbance.
“Airports with their big green open spaces can be perfect spots for bees,” said Laurie Pyne, president of the Olympia Beekeepers Association.
Bees are fickle fliers. They stay in their hives if it’s raining, if outside temperatures drop into the 40s or if it’s too windy.
Beekeepers will maintain the hives, and if they survive into 2016, more may be added, Pyne said. That year might also see a new, but limited, honey on the market: one with an Olympia Airport logo on the label.