Entries in Honey Bees (2)


Thousands of Bees Delay Pittsburgh Flight

Stephen Repasky(PITTSBURGH) -- A Delta flight headed from Pittsburgh to New York was delayed Wednesday by thousands of bees on its wing.

A professional beekeeper was called in to remove the bees, ABC affiliate WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh reported. Master beekeeper Stephen Repasky said he was called when the bee swarm formed on the plane’s wing as it refueled. He was called to remove the bees because they’re a protected species that cannot legally be killed.

Delayed for about 20 minutes, fascinated passengers clicked cellphone pictures of Repasky at work, a Pittsburgh International Airport spokeswoman said.

Repasky said it was the fourth time he has been called to the airport this year, so there’s likely a honeybee colony nearby.

“When a colony of honeybees swarm, it’s nature’s way of dividing on a large scale,” Repasky said. “So, the old queen takes off with half the colony and they go looking for a new place to set up residence.”

Two swarms were removed in May and one in June, both from equipment but not planes, the airport spokeswoman said.

There have been two to three times as many bee rescues this year than is typical, Repasky said. He blamed the increase on the weather.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pentagon Faces New Enemy: 10,000 Honey Bees?

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- There were chuckles all around the Pentagon Wednesday as an alert notice appeared on computers warning building employees a swarm of bees had parked themselves outside an entrance to the building. The swarm of about 10,000 European honey bees landed on the branch of a small tree just outside the Pentagon's Mall Entrance.

By coincidence, a short time later a fire alarm led to the evacuation of a portion of the building. On the way out of the building a Pentagon employee was overheard saying, “I wonder if it’s the swarm of bees?”

Turns out, the two events were not connected, but they piqued journalists' interest in the “hive” of activity at the entrance.

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A short time later, another building notification told building employees that bee specialists had been called in to deal with the bee swarm at that entrance.

Some amateur beekeepers who work at the Pentagon and who, after seeing the internal alerts had shown up to assist the local beekeeper, called to resolve the situation. The beekeeper cut off a portion of the branch and placed it in a cardboard box with the expectation that most would follow their queen bee into the box.

Air Force Lt. Col. Craig Bucher was one of the amateur beekeepers who had arrived to help.  With the bees safely in the box, he planned to take them home and share them with fellow bee enthusiasts.

“Now that we have the hive," Bucher said, “I’m in touch with others in the area who would really jump at the opportunity to incorporate it in their home.

“I’m going to take this hive home with me and then put the word out to someone who can hopefully give them a good home,” he said.

Bucher explained that the swarm of bees had likely split off from another hive and followed a new queen bee to look for a new home.  He said that typically a mature hive would have between 30,000 to 50,000 bees so the Pentagon swarm might have numbered 10,000.

He estimated that the bees who’d landed on the tree “had stopped to rest” there as they were looking for a new home.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio