On Wednesday night last week, a Delta commuter flight bound for New York in Pittsburgh International Airport was delayed by a most unexpected thing; a honeybee swarm that had decided to take refuge under the left wing of the aircraft. However bizarre this might seem to outsiders, these bee swarms are not uncommon to the airport's maintenance crews. In fact, the swarm is the fourth one discovered this year.
To fix this problem, no act of cruel massacre was performed (nor was it truly an act of kindness as the honey bees are a protected species and thus required by law to be moved). Instead, the airport called in Master beekeeper Stephen Repasky of Meadow Street Apiaries to safely relocate the bees (most likely his fourth time this year at the airport). Repasky worked his magic and scraped the bees off with a light thistle brush into a box later for release.
According to Repasky, swarms of wayward honey bees form when a colony becomes overpopulated. They show up most anywhere to rest before moving to find a new home. Of course, when the ignorant citizen sees these bees, there's not knowing what s/he would do from fear of seeing such a large cluster of black and yellow. However, Repasky urges the people not to fear upon seeing a swarm as honey bees are extremely docile and would sooner move on if left alone.
Repasky worked swiftly but gently and the flight was again underway to JFK airport in about 20 minutes. The sentiment on the plane was not that of annoyance but fascination as some took out their phones for pictures and videos. The delay caused by the bees were in fact, irrelevant, as the flight was still going to be delayed going into JFK due to congestion issues.