Photo by Stephen Repasky of Meadow Sweet Apiaries

A Delta flight departing Pittsburgh International Airport for NYC on Wednesday was delayed when thousands of bees swarmed the plane’s body. The buzzing critters bumrushed the craft’s wing just as the plane’s crew was preparing to fuel it. Since the bees are a protected species and it’s a crime to kill them, master beekeeper Stephen Repasky of Meadow Sweet Apiaries was called to the scene and was able to remove them. We’re glad the bees are now safe and hope that the passengers on board didn’t mind the inconvenience too much!

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So what caused the massive bee swarm? According to Repasky, these swarms typically form when a queen bee leaves half of her population to find another home with the other half. Swarms like this can contain up to 30,000 bees. MyFoxNY reports that Mr. Repasky indicated it’s likely that there’s a wild honeybee colony somewhere in the airport.

For the time being, the homeless bees have taken refuge in Mr. Repasky’s back yard, and we’re sure he will find them a nice home – hopefully one that’s a safe distance away from the airport.

Via MyFoxNY