Huge Swarm of Bees on Plane Wing Delays Flight

Eventually they left after plane started up engine
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2023 2:00 AM CDT
Flight Delayed for Hours Due to Huge Swarm of Bees on Wing
FILE - A Delta airplane takes off from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. Delta reports earnings on Thursday, April 13, 2023.   (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

This is the kind of situation for which the term "yikes" was invented: A Delta Air Lines flight was delayed Wednesday due to a huge swarm of bees that gathered on one of the plane's wings. The flight was supposed to depart Houston for Atlanta at 12:25pm but didn't end up taking off until 4:30pm, reports CBS News, which rounds up pictures of the bee-covered airplane wing from Twitter. As you can imagine, puns abound in headlines about this story; USA Today went with "They wanted to fly buzziness class." As for what happened, journalist and author Anjali Enjeti gave an amusing play-by-play on Twitter while waiting to board the flight.

"Update from captain himself," reads one tweet. "1.) Bee keeper isn’t allowed to touch airplanes! So they’re not coming! 2) Pest control is not allowed to spray planes. 3) airport does not have hose to spray them off with water! 4) fire department can’t come—can’t understand reason why." Several other ideas were floated (taxiing the plane?) and tried (blowing exhaust toward the bees), a person walked toward the bees with a hose but then walked away, and then Delta decided to move the plane so that another plane could use the gate. "As soon as our plane’s engine turned on, THE BEES LEFT!!! All Delta had to do was TURN ON THE PLANE," Enjeti tweeted. (More Delta Air Lines stories.)

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