The ATR flight, which reached the airport at 11.30am as scheduled, was taxiing when the bees, believed to have come from the nearby forest, descended on it. Authorities instructed the pilot not to deplane the passengers. Crash tenders, the specialized fire engines at airports, sprayed water on the aircraft. But the bees, which had settled onthe propeller blades and the engine, merely shifted place.
Airport authorities then directed the pilot to taxi on the apron. The whirring propellers scared away the bees. This operation lasted for around 10-15 minutes.
Airport director J T Radhakrishna said by by the time the aircraft circled twice around, most bees had taken off. The aircraft was then taken to a remote bay where the passengers alighted. The return flight, scheduled to leave for Bangalore at 12.05pm, finally left at 1.15pm, said Radhakrishna.