A swarm of bees delayed a flight by over three hours after attaching themselves to a winglet, resisting airport actions for some time.
NBC News reported that Delta flight 1682 out of George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, was delayed after passengers were informed that boarding was no longer an option. The airline announced that a swarm of bees latched onto part of the plane's wing and airline personnel needed to ensure that the plane was not contaminated.
While according to Delta the flight was delayed by approximately three hours, FlightAware.com reportedly said the flight departed from Houston four hours and 29 minutes late.
One passenger named Anjali Enjeti chronicled the events as they happened via her Twitter account, saying "My flight leaving Houston is delayed because bees have congregated on the tip of one of the wings."
"They won't let us board until they remove the bees. But how on earth will this happen? Won't they leave the wing when we take off?" Enjeti asked.
Delta airlines said that a bee swarm attaching to a plane is "rare but not unheard of" and made several jovial announcements during the delay:
"A friendly group of bees evidently wanted to talk shop with the winglet" of the plane, the airline announced. "No doubt to share the latest about flying conditions at the airport.”
Enjeti kept her followers in the know with an "update from the captain himself" and stated that "the Bee keeper isn't allowed to touch airplanes! So they're not coming," she announced. "2) Pest control is not allowed to spray planes. 3) airport does not have hose to spray them off with water! 4) fire department can't come," the passenger explained.
In the end, turning on the plane's engine was allegedly the solution.
"As soon as our plane's engine turned on, the bees left!!! All Delta had to do was turn on the plane," Enjeti electronically shouted.
The airline subsequently apologized but said a delay was necessary.
"Looking out for the welfare of congregated bees on the wing of our aircraft yesterday as well as to ensure that no surfaces of our aircraft were contaminated during departure, this flight needed to be delayed," Delta said. "Safe actions did not prove successful," the airline added.
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