Swarm of bees forces Duluth-bound plane to head back to Vegas

Author:
Updated:
Original:

They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Perhaps the swarm of bees that forced a plane bound for Duluth to turn back was trying to enforce that adage.

The News Tribune reports the crew on an Allegiant Air flight that was leaving Las Vegas Monday decided to turn around after the plane struck the swarm. An Allegiant spokeswoman told the newspaper the bees were ingested into the plane's engines and had clouded the windshield.

One of the passengers on the flight tells WDIO she didn't feel anything unusual, but a smell filtered into the plane's cabin. Other passengers interviewed by the station described it as an awful burning smell and said some of those aboard the plane began to panic.

The passengers told WDIO the pilot announced that the plane had hit a bird and would be returning to Las Vegas. They said their fears were not relieved upon landing because once on the tarmac the plane was quickly surrounded by a swarm of fire and emergency vehicles.

Not until they were getting off the plane did the passengers learn from the pilot that it was actually bees they had struck. They boarded a different plane and made it to Duluth less than two hours late.

Flight delays caused by bees are not as rare as you might think, although the swarms are more common on the ground than in the air.

Last summer a plane in Charlotte, N.C., was prevented from taking off until a swarm was cleared.

Similarly, the previous summer a Delta Airlines flight from Pittsburgh was grounded while a master beekeeper was summoned to remove a swarm that had landed on a wing. 

Beekeeper Stephen Repasky told KDKA-TV then that swarms form when colonies become too large and the queen takes half the bees with her to find a new home.

Word that there are still swarms of bees large enough to make a airplane turn back might be a relief to some.

The population of honeybees in the Midwest has collapsed, raising concern among farmers who rely on bees to pollinate their crops.

Next Up

Shayne Munich

Minneapolis police appeal for help finding missing man

Shayne Munich is described as a vulnerable adult.

Screen Shot 2020-11-27 at 6.26.50 PM

Minnesota nurse's story about her battle with COVID-19 goes viral

A month later, Ashley Walter is on a hard road to recovery.

Adam Thielen

Report: Still on COVID-19 list, Thielen not expected to play Sunday

Thielen was placed on the COVID-19/Reserve list on Monday.

Image from iOS (19)

Mask-wearing, distancing a common sight on MOA's Black Friday

Thousands of shoppers were out and about on Black Friday despite the COVID-19 situation.

Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz, MDH react to record-setting COVID-19 deaths

Minnesota can expect further bad news over the coming weeks.

covid-19, coronavirus

Record 101 COVID-19 deaths reported in Minnesota

The figures are from Wednesday, with no update provided on Thanksgiving.

Screen Shot 2020-11-27 at 9.29.12 AM

Target reveals its 'Cyber Week' online deals

The sales will run from Nov. 29 to Dec. 5.

Minneapolis police

Mayor Frey, Minneapolis police chief reveal new 'no-knock' policy

The new policy for Minneapolis Police Department was announced Wednesday.

Teddy Bridgewater

Coller: It's a what-if Sunday with Teddy Bridgewater's return

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

Ambulance hospital emergency

15-month-old girl's death being investigated by police in Fargo

The child died four days after being found unresponsive.

Related

There's a swarm of honey bees near the GoMN office

These bees appear to have made themselves a home on an electric box near GoMN's office. Now what?

There's a swarm of honey bees near the GoMN office

These bees appear to have made themselves a home on an electric box near GoMN's office. Now what?

Duluth-to-Vegas flight makes emergency landing

An Allegiant Air flight from Duluth to Las Vegas made an emergency landing at Duluth International Airport Friday night after experiencing trouble with one of the engines. No one was injured.