The bees swarmed the jet's exhaust nozzle following flight operations on July 11, the Air Force said. Airmen from the 192nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, understandably confused by something the USAF said "had never happened on the flight line before," reached out to their commanding officer, Captain Katie Chiarantona who contacted Langley's on-base entomologist – which is apparently a thing. The entomologist recommended a local beekeeper, Navy vet Andy Westrich, who arrived on base and vacuumed the bees up. Westrich relocated the tiny pollinators to a local brewery. Yes, a brewery. The USAF didn't give out the brewery's name, but said the company will maintain the colony for honey production, which it will use in its beer.
"The honey bees most likely came from a much larger bee hive somewhere else on base," said Chief Master Sergeant Gregg Allen, the 192nd Maintenance Group's quality assurance chief and an amateur bee keeper. "Bee hives are constantly growing and they eventually become overcrowded. 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."
"[Westrich] said that one out of two things could have happened, the queen would have rested and gained energy and the swarm would've left in the morning, or they would have decided that the jet engine would be a great place to build a hive," Chiarantona added.
You can check out images of the bee-infested F-22 up top.