Honeybee Swarm Delays Flight at Pittsburgh International Airport

Written by Christine Lepisto

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.

This post was originally published by TreeHugger.


Related Stories:

World’s Largest Butterfly Could Disappear Forever

Buzz Off: EPA Denies Beekeeper Pesticide Petition

Get Ready For the Backyard Bee Count!


Photo: Moosicorn/flickr

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra2 years ago

Thank you TreeHugger, for Sharing this!

Lynn D.
Lynn D.3 years ago

How creative of the honey bees!

Tamara Hayes

Love to hear stories like this where the animal or insect is relocated and not just killed for the sake of expediency. Score one for the good guys!

Linda Jarsky
Linda Jarsky3 years ago

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men. ---St. Francis of Assisi..."

Anita Wisch
Anita Wisch3 years ago

There is always a better way to get rid/move insects than killing. I'm just glad that Delta looked into a non-lethal way to accomplish that.

Kimberlee W.
Kimberlee W.3 years ago

Recently read of someone who hired a bee exterminator. Wonder if that's what these people did?
Because the exterminator wasn't able to get rid of them. But a BEE-KEEPER did. And he saved the hive too! They're making beaucoup honey for him even as we speak.

Christine C.
Christine C.3 years ago

Why are my comments double posting again?

Christine C.
Christine C.3 years ago

Why are my comments double posting again?

Marie W.
Marie W.3 years ago

Glad they were safely removed.

Ellen Mccabe
ellen m.3 years ago

If ever there was a reason to be glad for a delay, this is it!
Bee's are one of, if not the most important parts of our entire food chain, and we must do everything possible to protect them.