Berlin Airport

Airports employ nibble fish and honeybees

Forget the backrub. There’s now a fish pedicure spa at London’s busy Stansted Airport.


In a new airport offering, travelers can put their bare feet into aquariums filled with Garra Rufa or ‘doctor fish’ and let the fish nibble away at the dead skin.


This is in the news because it’s the first fish spa at a London airport, but it’s not the first airport fish spa.

A branch of Refresh Bodyworks at Singapore’s Changi Airport also offers passengers the opportunity to have their feet “polished” by fish.


The nibbling fish aren’t the only animals being put to work at airports.

In Germany, bees will help monitor the air quality around the new Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BBI), which is being built on the grounds of Schoenefeld Airport.

According to a statement from the airport, honey, honeycombs and bees belonging to beekeepers in the region will be monitored for signs of pollution caused by air traffic.

This isn’t the first airport to enlist bees. According to a June, 2010 article in the NYT, there are also bees on duty at Dusseldorf International and seven other German airports.

And while we’re buzzing about bees:

More than a dozen Fairmont Hotels in Canada, the US and other countries also have bees on duty.

Most have rooftop hives, but the Fairmont Vancouver Airport has 24 colonies at McDonald Beach Park, five minutes from the airport. The hotels use the harvested honey in everything from cocktails and special restaurant dishes to soap and honey sticks.

In my neck of the woods, the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle is just now getting five rooftop hives and the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, B.C. is getting 10.