Construction workers at Miami International Airport (MIA) made a sweet discovery last month when they found a massive 40-pound beehive near their worksite. Employees from airport construction contractor Parsons-Odebrecht Joint Venture (POJV) discovered the buzzing beehive – home to some 40,000 bees and 25 pounds of honey – underneath one of the large metal shipping containers the company uses to store construction tools and supplies. Workers were tipped off to the hive by the inordinate number of bees that appeared soon after the container was placed in the construction staging area.
Instead of exterminating the tiny fliers, the POJV employees alerted the Miami-Dade Aviation Department’s Environmental Planning/Wildlife Control Division, which helped
them find a professional beekeeper to relocate the hive to a more bee-friendly location. Following two days of work and several dozen bee stings, the beekeeper successfully moved the hive to a local farm in southern Miami-Dade County where the bees can continue to produce honey and carry out their vital role of pollinating the surrounding crops. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, about one-third of the human diet comes from insect-pollinated plants, and the honeybee is responsible for 80 percent of that pollination. The beehive found at MIA was harvested for the first time soon after its arrival on the farm, yielding 25 pounds of sweet golden honey that has been bottled – and enjoyed – by those who discovered it at MIA.
"I applaud the team at POJV and our Wildlife Control employees for being sensitive to our natural environment and giving these bees a new lease on life at one of our local farms," said Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González. "Their efforts took a potentially dangerous situation and turned it into a decidedly positive one for the airport and the environment."