Delta Flight Delayed for Three Hours Due to Swarm of Bees on the Wing

A Delta flight from Houston to Atlanta was delayed for three hours after a swarm of bees descended upon the plane’s wing.[0] Anjali Enjeti, one of the passengers on the flight, tweeted a blow-by-blow account of the bizarre incident and the airline’s various attempts to get rid of the buzzing invaders.[1] The airport officials planned to have a beekeeper come and remove the bees, but that didn’t work because the beekeeper would not have been allowed to touch the airplane. The pest control team was unable to help as they were prohibited from using chemicals to eliminate the bees from the aircraft. While they could have used water, the airport didn’t have a hose near the plane, and the fire department was unable to respond.[2]

For several reasons, the bees were difficult for Delta and airport staff to get rid of.[3] Firstly, a pest controller was sought after, but the captain informed passengers that the pest controller wouldn’t be allowed to spray the aircraft.[3] Despite calling in a beekeeping expert, they were unable to assist with the aircraft and ultimately did not show up. The airport apparently tried to blow exhaust from a vehicle on the wing tip to get the bees to leave, but it didn’t work.[4] Another person arrived with a hose, but ultimately chose not to spray the bees.[4] Delta Air Lines was eventually required to vacate the gate in order for another aircraft to utilize it.[2] Once the pilot turned on the engines, the bees flew away.[2]

The exact measures Delta Air Lines took to resolve the situation were not disclosed, but they eventually used ground equipment with no passengers on board to push the aircraft back from the gate and displace the bees.[5] Best Bees, a beekeeping service company, states that swarming of bees usually occurs during the spring months after the weather starts to warm up. This happens when the bees have outgrown their hive. According to the spokesperson of Delta, though uncommon, insect swarming may take place on any outdoor structure located in a habitat where bees are present.[6] According to the Department of Entomology at Michigan State University Extension, honeybees tend to swarm when they are searching for a new location to establish their hive. Before settling on its final destination, the swarm will gather close to the hive and can stay in that location for “a couple hours to several days.”

The passenger also said that many people were cranky and frustrated with the flight delay. I wish you could listen to the individuals on the phone attempting to justify why our flight is postponed.[7] Anjali Enjeti, a journalist from Atlanta, documented the entire incident on Twitter, sharing photos of the bees and frequent updates on Delta’s efforts to remove them and allow the plane to board.[8] Although lengthy, it is undoubtedly an enjoyable piece to peruse.[9] Now you are aware that bees have the ability to cause flight delays.[9]

0. “Flight leaving Houston delayed after bees swarm the plane” Audacy, 4 May. 2023,

1. “Bees swarm airplane wing, delay flight in bizarre incident” Moneycontrol, 4 May. 2023,

2. “PHOTOS: Swarm Of Bees Causes Three-Hour Flight Delay | 95.3 WDAE” iHeart, 4 May. 2023,

3. “You’ve Got To BEE Kidding: Insect Swarm Causes 5 Hour Delta A320 Flight Delay” Simple Flying, 4 May. 2023,

4. “Passengers stuck on flight shocked as staff struggle to deal with huge swarm of bees” Daily Star, 4 May. 2023,

5. “Swarm of bees delays a Delta flight by three hours” WISN Milwaukee, 4 May. 2023,

6. “Rare Swarm of Bees on Plane Grounds Flight” Newsweek, 4 May. 2023,

7. “Flight Delayed In US As Swarm Of Bees Latches Onto Plane’s Wing” NDTV, 4 May. 2023,

8. “Un(bee)lievable! A flight gets delayed 3 hrs due to a swarm of bees” Economic Times, 4 May. 2023,

9. “Delta Flight Delayed Due to Bee Swarm on Airplane Wing” Jalopnik, 4 May. 2023,