Honeybees form swarms when they're looking for a new home. (Thinkstock/John Foxx)
A soccer ball-sized swarm of honeybees descended upon the Charlotte airport in North Carolina on Thursday, causing a delay of more than two hours while passengers sweated in the hot plane and waited for the winged insects to be lured away.
The bee swarm, which included a queen, was searching for a new place to build a hive on the tug at the front of the plane, said a beekeeper in an interview with the Charlotte Observer. The passengers were kept on the plane in case of any bee allergies, and the flight finally made it to its destination in Indianapolis at 5:16 p.m. reported Hawaii News Now.
According to the entomology department of the University of Nebraska, bee swarms occur when there is overcrowding in a nest, and swarms can be controlled by a skilled beekeeper. In most cases, bee swarms aren't dangerous since the bees aren't protecting a food supply or their young.
Airports aren't the only places where honeybee swarms have appeared and caused problems. A swarm of thousands of bees recently descended on a construction site in Toronto, delaying work for several hours, reported Canadian newspaper The Star.
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An Israeli man runs through a swarm of locusts arriving over the Negev desert near the Egyptian border on March 6, 2013 in Kmehin, Israel. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)