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Bio-Detectives: German Airport Uses Bees To Monitor Air Quality

Honey samples are regularly tested to oversee environmental health.

Yofred Moik
Yofred Moik on June 30, 2010.

Honey harvested from 2,000 bees are regularly tested to monitor Germany’s Dusseldorf International Airport.  By checking the honey for toxin levels by comparing it to samples produced by bees in non-industrial areas, the bees act as ‘bio-detectives’.  Like canaries warning workers of toxic gases in coal mines, biomonitoring can help ensure a healthy environment for the airport.  While it will not replace traditional monitoring, airport officials seek to display a clear message that maintaining a healthy environment in a transportation hub where emission release is high a top priority.  So far, the results at the German airport have indicated that the level of atmospheric pollutants are far below city limits.  The honey produced from these bees are packaged in a bottle branded as “Dusseldorf Natural” and donated.

Dusseldorf International Airport

[via New York Times]

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