Swarm Of 20,000 Bees Grounds U.S. Air Force’s F-22 Raptor In Virginia

Photo by Master Sgt. Carlos Claudio / USAF

The US Air Force’s F-22 Raptor may be the most advanced fighter jet in the world but even with $143 million-worth of stealth and supersonic capabilities, it proved to be no match for one unlikely adversary — a huge swarm of honey bees. An F-22 aircraft from the 192nd Air Wing was temporarily grounded on June 11 after crew members at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia discovered nearly 20,000 bees hanging from the jet’s exhaust nozzle following flight operations.

h/t: ktla

Photo by Master Sgt. Carlos Claudio / USAF

But how do nearly 20,000 bees, weighing a collective eight pounds find their way onto the exhaust pipe of a fighter jet? They likely came from a much larger bee hive somewhere else on the base, according to Chief Master Sgt. Gregg Allen, 192nd Maintenance Group Quality Assurance chief, who also happens to be a beekeeper.

Photo by Master Sgt. Carlos Claudio / USAF

“Bee hives are constantly growing and they eventually become overcrowded,” he said. “Around springtime, the bees will make a new queen, scout for a new location and take half of the hive with them to that location.”

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