The Airbus family of widebody and single-aisle aircraft are not the only buzz-worthy products created by the European aircraft manufacturer.
More than 600 jars of honey are collected each year from beehives at Airbus’ Hamburg facilities. The beehives are located near the company’s aircraft paint shop and close to the runway where new-build jetliners carry out flight tests on site at Finkenwerder Airport in Hamburg, Germany.
As part of the company’s bio-monitoring efforts and to help analyze the environmental footprint of the company’s operations, honey from these bees, which collect the pollen and nectar from hundreds of thousands of plants across an approximately 12-square-kilometre area, is to used to provide key data on the quality of surrounding soil, air and water.
For example, any metal or chemical deposits in flowers from the surrounding areas would also be detected in the honey.
Independent laboratory test results show pollution levels from Airbus facilities to be even lower than in Hamburg’s city centre and no higher than other areas.
“We have tested three different parameters this year: wax, pollen and honey, from two different beehive locations,” said Airbus’ fulltime beekeeper Eberhard Schädlich, who was previously an electronics technician with the company. “We are very proud to say that every single result shows pollution levels are well under approved limits.”
The tens of thousands of bees in the Airbus hives produce more than 160 kilograms of honey, annually. In addition to test analysis, the honey is also jarred and given as presents to customers, suppliers and Airbus staff.