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Swarm of bees delay Delta Airlines flight — see the photos

Plans for a beekeeper, pest control, the fire department and a water hose all didn't end up actually shaking the swarm on the plane's wing loose.
/ Source: TODAY

First it was snakes on a plane, now it's bees on a wing.

A swarm of bees on the wing of a Delta Air Lines flight in Houston delayed passengers bound for Atlanta for about three hours as crews worked to safely remove the cluster of creatures.

"Bee-lieve it or not, Delta flight 1682 on May 3 from Houston-Bush to Atlanta took a delay after a friendly group of bees evidently wanted to talk shop with the winglet of one of our airplanes, no doubt to share the latest about flying conditions at the airport," a Delta spokesperson said in a statement to NBC News.

One passenger, Anjali Enjeti, live tweeted her experience watching crews at George Bush Intercontinental Airport work to get the bees off of the tip of the plane's wing.

"I’m not moving from this window," Enjeti said in a tweet after a gate agent said a beekeeper would be arriving soon. "I want front row seats for this!"

Unfortunately, Enjeti said the captain later told passengers beekeepers aren't allowed to touch planes, so that plan was axed. The captain also said pest control can't spray planes, the airport didn't have a hose to try to spray the bees off with water and the fire department couldn't respond for unspecified reasons, Enjeti said.

But it was a simple action that had the bees fleeing: turning on the engine, according to Enjeti.

"Omg y’all. Entire the flight crew deplaned. Delta decided to give our gate to another flight. As soon as our plane’s engine turned on, THE BEES LEFT!!! All Delta had to do was TURN ON THE PLANE," she said. "I really wanted a more exciting end to this saga."

The bee-free plane eventually rerouted to another gate, where passengers boarded the flight and headed to Atlanta, landing about three hours after its scheduled arrival.

The Airbus A320 aircraft had to be delayed to ensure no surfaces of the plane had been contaminated, as well as for the welfare of the congregated bees, Delta said.

The airline added the plane was pushed back with no passengers on board and ground equipment was used to safely shake the bees off of the wing, after previous actions weren't successful in getting the bees off of the plane.

Delta said this kind of swarming is rare, but not unheard of, as bees can swarm on virtually any outdoor structure where bees are found in nature.