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Flight delayed by swarm of honey bees

Honey bees are extremely docile
Honey bees are extremely docile

Cheryl Santa Maria, staff writer

August 5, 2012 — A Pittsburgh flight bound for New York was delayed after crew members found a large group of stowaways.

A swarm can contain as many as 30,000 bees
A swarm can contain as many as 30,000 bees

A flight departing from Pittsburgh International Airport was delayed on Wednesday after thousands of honey bees landed on the aircraft.

Crew members were preparing for take off when the discovery was made.

The bees swooped down on one of the airplane's wings -- and decided to stay there.

Honey bees are a protected species, so a master beekeeper had to be called in to remove the would-be hitchhikers.

A swarm occurs when a queen leaves her colony with a portion of her worker bees in search of a new home.

She resides in the centre of her swarm, which can contain as many as 30,000 bees.

While a swarm appears intimidating, honey bees are docile creatures that will only attack when provoked.

It took about 20 minutes to coax the unwanted guests off the airplane and send the flight on its way.

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