Honeybee Swarm Delays Flight at Pittsburgh International Airport

kaibara87/CC BY 2.0

Talk about having too much of a good thing. A swarm of honeybees delayed a flight at the Pittsburgh International Airport after they made their new home in the cavities of the engines on the wing of a Delta airplane. Imagine the surprise as workers came to fuel the plane for take-off, only to find the wing and engines coated by fuzzy yellow and black bees.

Honeybees are protected in many locations in an effort to stymie the effects of honeybee colony collapse disorder, so the Pittsburgh airport took measures to have the bees professionally removed. Stephen Repasky of Burgh Bees in Pittsburgh responded to the beemergency call.

When a hive grows too large, population growth which is favored by recent warming trends, the queen takes half of the bees in search of a new home. Before leaving for the journey, the gentle vegetarians gorge themselves. They then swarm off to find accomodating conditions elsewhere. What better than the engine of an airplane?

Honeybee swarm pose little threat as the bees are not aggressive. But they will sting to defend their colony, so the skills of a professional bee expert come in handy when relocating a swarm that has selected a new home which does not please the humans involved.

The honeybees were safely relocated to Repasky's beekeeping operation, where they are recovering from their adventure.

Tags: Airplanes | Bees | Endangered Species | Pittsburgh