We know bird strikes are a terrible inconvenience to planes, but what about a gang of marauding bees? So maybe they weren’t exactly marauding, but a beekeeper did have to be called in at Pittsburgh International Airport on Wednesday night to dislodge a swarm of honeybees that took to buzzing about on a plane’s wings. Quite annoying, as the plane was about to take off for New York.
There was a bit of a delay for passengers on the Delta commuter flight as the bees were escorted elsewhere.
“They were getting ready to fuel and they came around the corner of the plane and right there on the wing is a cluster of honeybees,” the beekeeper told KDKA. “It was a shocker to a lot of people.”
It turns out the buzzy little guys are nothing new — last year 25,000 to 30,000 landed on a light on a taxiway.
“At the airport, this would be the fourth swarm that we’ve caught this year out there,” said the all-knowing beekeper.
The bees sometimes leave their home for a new one if their current digs become too crowded, he explained. They don’t really seem to mind if that new home is a tree or an airplane, apparently.
Bees don’t suffer quite as harsh of a fate as birds who flight into engines and planes mid-air. Since they’re a protected species, it’s illegal to kill them and they must instead just be moved. The beekeeper was able to corral his buggy friends into a box and later release them in his own backyard.
As annoyed as passengers might have been at the delay, we imagine they’d be a lot more annoyed if those bees had actually been inside the plane.