Bees on a plane: Massive swarm ground aircraft for 90 minutes by clinging to wing

A passenger flight was grounded for 90 minutes after a huge swarm of bees suddenly clustered on its wing.

Footage shows the insects clinging to the plane as soon as it landed at Kualanamu International Airport at the city of Medan, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

"So many wasps!" one man claims in disbelief.

Bees grounded a plane at Indonesia's Kualanamu International Airport for 90 minutes by clinging to its wing in a massive swarm. Pictures: AsiaWire
Bees grounded a plane at Indonesia's Kualanamu International Airport for 90 minutes by clinging to its wing in a massive swarm. Pictures: AsiaWire

Passengers on Citilink Indonesia flight QG 885 from the Indonesian town of Bantam disembarked safely but the next flight could not board because it was overloaded with the extra travellers.

Airport authorities eventually resorted to getting firefighters to hose the insects off the plane with the fierce fire engine hose designed to douse plane fires.

The insects can be seen flying across the plane and tarmac. Picture: AsiaWire
The insects can be seen flying across the plane and tarmac. Picture: AsiaWire

Citilink corporate communication vice president Benny Butarbutar said: "At 12:30pm the bees were removed by spraying the wing with water from the airport fire extinguisher unit so that the wings would be clean again."

He added that the aircraft was carefully checked over by maintenance workers before being allowed to make its return flight.

It was an hour and a half late because of the bee infestation.

Fire crews were called to hose the insects off the plane with the fierce fire engine hose intended to douse plane fires. Picture: AsiaWire
Fire crews were called to hose the insects off the plane with the fierce fire engine hose intended to douse plane fires. Picture: AsiaWire

Mr Butarbutar said that loggers cutting down trees in the area might have disturbed the bees and sent them off to form a new hive in a hurry.

Honeybees swarm when a queen leaves the hive to set up a new colony. In the usual process, she takes around 60 per cent of worker bees just a few metres away.

From there, scout bees go on sorties looking for new hive sites.

Once a new home is selected, the swarm departs for the new site en masse.

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