While checking out the trees along U.S. Highway 183 near Austin’s airport, environmental analysts for the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority came across something they didn’t expect – a giant beehive. An estimated 30,000 to 40,000 honeybees live in the oak tree right off the highway, which the mobility authority has been studying for possible roadway improvements.

The honeybee population has been in steep decline. So the agency hired local beekeeper Randy Oakley to help. On Tuesday, reporters watched as Oakley examined the decoy beehive he created to lure the bees out of the tree. Once the bees have fully migrated to the decoy, which takes a few weeks, Oakley will move them to an apiary near Robinson.

Meet Paige: Our new Facebook Messenger bot helps you keep track of the 85th Legislature. Subscribe by messaging HELLO to m.me/texastribune.org. Learn more.

Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.

Show 4 comments
Republish This Story

Find out how you can put this story on your website.

Be a citizen, not a spectator.

Become a member today and support our nonprofit newsroom.