A beekeeper who manages six colonies at one of Germany’s biggest airports has shared some advice on how everyone can do their bit in protecting pollinators.
Ingo Fehr – who is in charge of 200,000 honeybees – said: “A simple way to do something for the environment is to set up wooden nesting aids. You can get them in DIY stores.”
Ingo underlined the importance of directing them southwards, adding that even people who do not own a garden but just a small balcony could help protect ecosystems that way.
The Hamburg Airport apiarist said that the nesting spots – which cost between EUR 8 and 50 (GBP 7 and 44) – must be kept dry and in a sunny location. Spreading seeds at public places such as roundabouts has been mentioned by Ingo as another effective way to boost pollinator populations.
Ingo – who took up the occupation at the airport 24 years ago – said the aviation hub’s honeybee colonies were travelling up to 1.5 kilometres (0.93 miles) to collect pollen. In spring and summer, each worker bee embarks on around 40 trips, he added.
The beekeeping expert also emphasised the importance of undomesticated solitary bees.
Ingo explained: “Solitary bees are living in a rather concealed way. Bumblebees are actually one of the many wild bee species. They are pollinating cherry trees, apple trees and so on in the same way as honeybees.”
Hamburg Airport registered around 11 million passengers last year. This is a year-on-year increase of 72 per cent but 36 per cent less than in the pre-pandemic year of 2019.
Its apiary is situated on the edge of a small forest near the runway. The honey is handed out to airport employees and at events as a present.