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Patch of Sea-Tac airport land to be bee haven

SEATTLE – There are hundreds of thousands of new wings at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

In a partnership with a local nonprofit, the Port of Seattle is donating land to beekeepers to maintain a handful of beehives on wooded and grassy land around airport runways. Airport officials estimate that there are about 500,000 bees flying around.

The Common Acre beekeeper Bob Redmond said airport lands are a great spot to grow bee colonies. His aim is to help bee populations hurt by colony collapse and to educate the public about the honey makers. An art exhibit about bees is planned at the airport.

Animals are used for a variety of purposes at airports. In San Francisco, goats are used to clear grass, while in Houston volunteers on horses patrol the perimeter. Recently the Los Angeles airport introduced comfort dogs to help stressed-out passengers.