A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Bees on a Plane

Perhaps they considered themselves frequent flyers. beesonaplane-080712At Pittsburgh International Airport, a swarm of honeybees settled on the engine of a Delta commuter plane.

Because of the numbers of bees dyingfrom colony collapse disorder, bees are now a protected species, so the airline couldn’t call an exterminator. Instead they called a beekeeper. [readon]

Stephen Repasky of Meadow Sweet Apiaries, who came to the rescue, has tackled similar missions before. “At the airport, this would be the fourth swarm that we’ve caught this year out there,” he said.

Swarms of bees are actually nothing new at the airport. Last May, 30,000 swarming bees landed on one of the taxiways.

Bees swarm when their colonies become too large. The queen leaves with half of the bees to find a new home. Until they find a home, they’re not protecting a hive, so they’re relatively easy to collect and they rarely sting. (Here’s another example of a swarm in someone’s backyard.)

Repasky gathered the bees into a large box, and took them home. He’ll then take them to an area where they can find a new home and build a hive.