Honeybee Swarm Delays Flight at Pittsburgh Airport

By Christine Lepisto, TreeHugger

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.

Bee population growth is favored by recent warming trends. When a hive grows too large, 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 accommodating conditions elsewhere. What better than the engine of an airplane?

Honeybee swarms 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.



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Angie B.
Angela B4 years ago

Thats crazy!! A few weeks ago, a family in Ontario had to vacate their house because it had been taken over by thousands of bees. They noticed when honey started to drip through the cracks onto the floor.

Amanda M.
Amanda M4 years ago

Two thumbs up for the airlines for taking steps to ensure that no harm came to the bees! The population is low enough due to colony collapse and other diseases without the bee swarms being needlessly killed. These little guys are literally what makes the Circle of Life go around.

Betsy M.
Betsy M4 years ago

Swarming is an amazing phenomenon. Glad they found a new home.

Carolanne Powell
C Powell4 years ago

Glad to hear that these sacred beings are safe for now Xx

Sam M.
Sam E M4 years ago

Nice one. I love bees too. :)

Sheila L.
Sheila Swan L4 years ago

Bees have died in record numbers in recent years from unknown maladies. Delay or not -- we have to embrace any and all help we can give them for it is not a one sided honey of a deal. To have crops that form flowers, we need those bees for our food.

Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Isabel A.
Isabel Araujo4 years ago

Could it be a good sign? Let us hope so, we need those bees I'm glad they could be relocated relocated safely. *_*

Isabel A.
Isabel Araujo4 years ago

Could it be a good sign? Let us hope so, we need those bees I'm glad they could be relocated relocated safely. *_*

Kathy K.
Kathy K4 years ago

Wow, a nice, dark hole to live in. Not! I'm glad that they were able to move them.