CHICAGO — United Airlines was forced to shut down three gates at O'Hare International Airport on Sunday due to an unwanted and unexpected landing — a swarm of honeybees arrived at gate B7 and wouldn't leave.
John Hansen, the airport's resident beekeeper, was called in to vacuum up the bees. The vacuum does not harm the bees.
In 2011, O'Hare Airport became the first U.S. airport to open an apiary on the premises. That spring, 28 beehives were opened as part of a conservation program, according to the City of Chicago. Hansen now oversees 75 beehives at the airport, one of the world's busiest.
Hansen told WBBM Newsradio that he's not sure whether these bees are from one of his hives. He said the bees were following their queen and looking to set up a new colony.