29 Jun 2010:
Honeybees Are Deployed
To Test Air Quality at German Airports
German officials are trying a novel approach to monitor air quality at airports
— so-called “biomonitoring” by honeybees. In an effort to gauge air pollution levels from jet exhaust and ground transportation vehicles at Düsseldorf International Airport and several other airports nationwide, officials test honey from honeybees kept at the airports. In a recent test of honey collected from some 200,000 honeybees, officials confirmed that levels of some hydrocarbons and heavy metals were well below national safety standards. The honey, called Düsseldorf Natural, is then given away as gifts. While some community groups in the U.S. and elsewhere have expressed concerns about air pollution levels at airports, industry groups insist that tighter oversight and improved energy efficiency in recent decades have significantly lowered air pollution from jet exhaust. Although officials in Germany say the use of bees to monitor air quality will not replace traditional methods, Martin Bunkowski, an environmental engineer for the Association of German Airports, told the New York Times
that the practice sends “a very clear message for the public because it is easy to understand.”
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
The 2015 Yale e360 Video Contest winner documents a Northeastern town's bitter battle over a wind farm. Watch the video.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
video goes onto the front lines with Colorado firefighters confronting deadly blazes fueled by a hotter, drier climate. Watch the video.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.