ATLANTA - Delta is introducing thousands of new flights at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport this year but not the kind it's well known for. The airline added three colonies of honey bees to its campus and Delta isn't the only company to add bees.
Beekeepers continue to report what they call alarmingly low numbers of honey bees, so unusual companies are jumping into the bee biz to help ramp up their population. But while the black and yellow insect is famous for its role as a pollinator, it's infamous for something else: its sting.
With the aviation industry responsible for nearly 10 percent of transportation greenhouse gas emissions, Christine Boucher says Delta's beehives are one way the airline is making amends.
"Carbon emissions is something that as an airline we recognize is an environmental footprint that we have and we do lots of things to try offset that," Boucher says.
The yellow and black pollinator is being welcomed into unusual places like this one across the country all to the combat the drastic decline in honey bee populations in recent years.
Although honey bees are great pollinators, introducing them in large numbers to heavily populated areas often raises eyebrows because of a less desirable part of their reputation their sting.
Entomologists say honey bees, even a whole lot of them, are typically not aggressive.
They hope educational efforts will alleviate public concerns, and perhaps even be the saving grace for this crucial branch of nature.