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The Economic Times

Making a beeline for a high-flying home

queen bees
No matter how cosy, after a point, old hangouts lose their buzz and more than one queen bee in the same place is bad news anyway, honey, as society animals will vouchsafe.
No matter how cosy, after a point, old hangouts lose their buzz and more than one queen bee in the same place is bad news anyway, honey, as society animals will vouchsafe. And which queen bee worth her social cachet would not want her own private jet, where she can be waited on hand and foot by minions? It is not surprising, therefore, that despite their dwindling numbers worldwide, bees have been showing an increasing interest in aircraft as prospective high-flyer homes in the past few decades. So, news last weekend of bees descending on an Agartala-bound Air India flight in Kolkata is not unusual at all, given that swarms have made a beeline for passenger aircraft for years now in places as diverse as Moscow, Durban, Ho Chi Minh City, Miami and Los Angeles, among others. Curiously, bees had also occupied five planes at Kolkata five years ago.

While it is conventional wisdom that bees like the smell of jet fuel, one bumbling bunch even commandeered an F-22 Raptor at a US Air Force base in Virginia in 2016. With ‘swarm intelligence’ becoming the new military buzzword, all sensitive installations are geared to watch out for unidentified drones — albeit electronic not zoological. In this case, the world was lucky that the arrival of 20,000 drones of the ‘original’ variety was not deemed a prelude to World War III.
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