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Buzzworthy Delay: Delta Flight Grounded by Bee Swarm in Houston



In a Nutshell:

  • A Delta Air Lines flight in Houston was grounded for three hours after thousands of bees swarmed onto the plane’s wing, causing a buzzworthy delay.
  • Staff worked to find a solution that wouldn’t harm the bees or contaminate the aircraft, and the bees eventually left on their own once the plane was moved to a taxi position.
  • Passengers boarded and completed their flight without any bee-related incidents, while a passenger shared the unique ordeal on Twitter with several photos of the wing-invading swarm.

If you thought flight delays were only caused by bad weather or technical issues, think again.

In a bee-zarre turn of events, Delta Air Lines grounded a flight in Houston last Wednesday after thousands of bees decided to hold a wing-ting on the plane’s wing.

The Delta flight to Atlanta was delayed for a whopping three hours as staff tried to figure out how to remove the unexpected guests without harming them or contaminating the aircraft.

It seems the bees simply wanted to share their flight tips with the winglet of the airplane, according to a Delta spokesperson.

“Bee-lieve it or not, Delta flight 1682 on May 3 from Houston-Bush to Atlanta took a delay after a friendly group of bees evidently wanted to talk shop with the winglet of one of our airplanes, no doubt to share the latest about flying conditions at the airport.”

The 92 passengers on board must have been buzzing with anticipation as they waited for a solution. It’s not every day that your flight is delayed by a swarm of bees, after all. While insect swarming is a rare occurrence, it can happen on any outdoor structure in areas where bees are found.


This isn’t the first time a flight has been delayed due to a swarm of insects.

In 2021, White House staffers faced a cicada invasion on their flight to Europe, with the pesky critters filling the plane’s engines. They had to switch planes to continue their trip.

However, not all insect-related flight incidents have ended well. In 1996, a plane crashed after wasps built a nest inside the pitot tubes, disrupting the autopilot’s ability to maintain the correct speed and altitude.

Fortunately, the Houston bee situation had a much sweeter outcome. The bees decided to buzz off on their own once the plane was moved to a taxi position. Passengers finally boarded and completed their flight to Atlanta on Wednesday evening without any sting-related incidents.

Anjali Enjeti, one of the passengers, took to Twitter to share the strange ordeal, posting several photos of the wing-invading swarm.

The images show a dark mass of thousands of bees covering the plane’s wing as airport staff observed and tried to come up with a plan.

In the end, it seems the bees simply wanted to make a quick pit stop before continuing on their merry way. After all, they have places to bee, too!

Source: Newsweek


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