Hanford’s “sting” operation safely relocates native bees

July 27, 2022, 3:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe
Native bees swarm near a hive at the former K Reactor Area on the Hanford Site. Bees swarm and begin looking for a new place to nest when a colony becomes overcrowded. (Photo: DOE)

The area near the Hanford Site’s former K reactors is buzzing with activity as several of the Department of Energy’s environmental cleanup projects continue near the Columbia River in Washington state.

That’s not the only thing that’s buzzing, however. While preparing some old equipment for removal earlier this spring, workers with Central Plateau Cleanup Company (CPCCo), a contractor of the DOE Office of Environmental Management Richland Operations Office, discovered a large colony of native bees.