Tags: london | bee | swarm

Bee Swarm in London Causes Rush Hour Traffic Jam

Image: Bee Swarm in London Causes Rush Hour Traffic Jam

Beekeeper Phil Clarkson uses a portable hive to capture a swarm of bees at Greenwich Church Street, close to the famous Greenwich market, in south-east London. (Ryan Wilkinson/Press Association via AP Images)

By    |   Thursday, 18 May 2017 07:06 AM

A swarm of thousands of bees caused a traffic jam at a London intersection Tuesday during rush hour, covering traffic lights and buzzing around pedestrians.

Although no one was sure where the bees came from, some speculated they may have traveled from nearby Greenwich Park, Time reported. A distinct buzzing permeated the air and some passersby reported the bees were landing on their hair and clothing.

A local beekeeper, Phil Clarkson, soon came to the scene with a portable hive and enticed many of the bees to leave the area, and the street returned to normal. No one was stung by the bees, which are usually benign when swarming, Clarkson told The Telegraph.

“In most cases, it’s only when people swat at them or squash them on their body that the bee will sting them,” Clarkson continued. “They’re very calm and very docile when they’re swarming.”

New York City beekeeper Jessica Chrustic explained that bees swarm when they realize the hive has gotten too large for the queen’s pheromones to reach all the workers. “The workers will realize they need to take her, move on and let some of the workers in the hive start creating a new queen,” she told the New York Post.

Chrustic said bees are in a vulnerable state when they swarm and that they gorge on food beforehand so they can get to the new location safely.

Clarkson said springtime bee swarms are fairly common, but that landing on traffic lights and other city objects is rare, the Telegraph reported.

Twitter was full of bee puns:

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A swarm of thousands of bees caused a traffic jam at a London intersection Tuesday during rush hour, covering traffic lights and buzzing around pedestrians.
london, bee, swarm
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2017-06-18
Thursday, 18 May 2017 07:06 AM
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