Bees hijack Delta airplane wing, leaving pilots on a prayer

Adhya Moona
Adhya MoonaMay 04, 2023 | 15:21

Bees hijack Delta airplane wing, leaving pilots on a prayer

Bees congregate on the tip of the wing of a Delta airplane. Photo: Twitter/Bees congregated on the tip of the wing of a Delta airplane. Photo: Twitter/Anjali Enjeti

Delta flight is quite sensitive and very considerate toward bees, it seems. A swarm of bees congregated on the tip of the wing of a Delta flight leaving Houston for Atlanta, US, delaying the flight for many hours.

  • One of the passengers, author-journalist Anjali Enjeti, who was set to board this flight, shared a very extensive and detailed update on how the staff was trying to deal with the whole bee situation.
  • The passengers were not allowed to board the flight until the bee situation was sorted out.

  • The Delta staff at the boarding gate was keeping the passengers updated too; with constant announcements regarding who is coming to look at the bees and best possible way to remove them without hurting the bees.

If you're wondering how the bees got on the tip of the wing: Apparently, when the plane pulled into the gate; the swarm of bees got onto the tip of the wing.

  • Anjali Enjeti kept many people on Twitter hooked to the plane wing and the bees, as she shared update after update on how the ground staff and flight operators tried to address the whole bee hijacking situation. 
  • When the gate agent said that they were getting someone to help solve the issues, Enjeti wrote, "Don’t we need a bee expert to identify the queen and remove her and won’t the rest follow?"

From trying to find a solution that included calling a beekeeper to the rescue, to thinking about pest control (but ouch, don't want to kill those bees and pest control is not allowed to spray on planes), and the airport not having a water hose - and having all these alternatives rejected... it does make one think: 

What does one have to do to get these bees off the plane's wing? Anjali Enjeti answers this subsequently.

(but before you get to the answer, it's best to start munching and eat some snacks while you wait)

Final update: The passengers were moved to another gate and they were finally able to leave Houston.


So, now, the answer to the big question: HOW DID THE BEES LEAVE?

Turns out the pilot just had to turn the engine on! Enjeti wrote on Twitter that the moment the airplane engines were switched on, the bees left!

As the "bee" passengers were assigned a different gate, they flew out of Houston and reached their destinaton Atlanta (phew!). I bet it was one hell of a wait to get back home.

Goes without saying, the Twitter thread got a lot of reactions. Take a look:

This was such a unique situation, do you think ground staff or flight operators are trained to handle such circumstances?

Last updated: May 04, 2023 | 15:21
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