The F-22 Raptor is arguably one of the strongest military weapons out there. It's stealth, speed, and ability to engage in aerial and ground combat make it a flexible and deadly addition to any mission. But everything has a weakness, and for this F-22, it was an entire SWARM of bees.
The Air Force reported in June that a colony of at least 20,000 bees made the exhaust nozzle of the F-22 their home. The unusual behavior was likely caused when the queen got tired looking for a new home and landed on the plane. The initial reaction was to run and get someone to exterminate the insects. Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Baskin moved instead to get rid of them humanely without killing them. These were honey bees, and they are vitally important. So a local beekeeper was called out to remove and transport them.
Andy Westrich, a Navy Veteran, arrived on the scene to remove the bees and take them back with him. Using a vaccum hose, he was able to remove the bees from the plane. Reportedly, the colony weighed just around 8 pounds. Which, by bee colony standards, is A LOT.
The bees now have a home at a local beer company, where their honey will be used for their production facility (we approve). It's for the best that the bees have a new home instead of being exterminated. Bees not only are expert pollinators for our own crops, but they contribute to food production for several other species. They are already facing several hurdles against their extinction due to insecticides, disease, and some reasons that we're not even sure of yet. Most, including the honey bee, are a relatively friendly species and only sting when threatened or hurt (unlike the far more aggressive wasp that uses its stinger for hunting as well as defense).