Apparently, Planes Can't Take Off if There's a Swarm of Bees on the Wing

Photo:  Brandon Bell / Staff (Getty Images)
Photo: Brandon Bell / Staff (Getty Images)

There are plenty of reasons why the average flight would get delayed. Someone threw up during the landing. The pilot called in sick. It’s a Southwest flight. None of them are ideal, but you’d understand why there’s a delay. But as it turns out, your flight could also be delayed because a swarm of bees decided to hang out on the wing.

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Houston’s KPRC2 reports that yesterday, a Delta flight to Atlanta was delayed for several hours when bees took up residence on the end of one of the plane’s wings. Delta confirmed that it delayed the flight, claiming it was concerned about the bees’ welfare and also wanted to make sure the wing wasn’t damaged in an attempt to remove them. In the end, all it needed to do was turn the engines on to get them to leave, which is something we’re sure the passengers wish Delta had tried from the beginning, not after a multi-hour wait.


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Bee-lieve it or not, Delta flight 1682 from Houston-Bush to Atlanta took a delay this afternoon after a friendly group of bees evidently wanted to talk shop with the winglet of our airplanes, no doubt to share the latest about flying conditions at the airport,Delta said in a statement. “We are told this kind of swarming is rare but not unheard of occurrence and can occur on virtually any outdoor structure in climates/environments where bees are found in nature.”

Atlanta-based journalist Anjali Enjeti, who was on the flight, posted the entire saga on Twitter, complete with photos of the bees and regular updates on all the different things Delta tried to do to get the bees to leave so her plane could finally board. It’s a long one, but it sure is an entertaining read. And now you know that bees can also delay your flight.

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