An enormous swarm of bees brought rush hour traffic to a standstill in London.
Motorists and pedestrians were forced to duck for cover as thousands of bees stopped people in their tracks on Greenwich Church Street, close to the famous Greenwich market, last night.
Videos of the bizarre scene show people stopping to watch while others dived out of the way to avoid the insects.
Abigail Hering, who runs the nearby Beadoir jewellery shop, posted a clip of the swarm online, describing it as ‘absolutely crazy’.
She said she could initially hear an ‘underlying hum’, adding: ‘It was just literally swarming, above the cars around the one way system.’
The buzzing swarm was there for at least an hour, Ms Hering said.
She added: ‘When I left work, I went to walk towards my car, they were on the traffic lights. Millions of them on the traffic lights. And then at that point they’d come lower so they were actually buzzing around the people.
‘And while I was videoing them I looked down and I could see literally the front of me covered in bees. They were on me. They were on everybody. They were in your hair, on your top.’
Ms Hering said onlookers seemed shocked at the ‘hideous’ sight, but she added: ‘It was quite exciting really.’
People continued to look on as a beekeeper launched an operation to remove the swarm from the traffic lights.
Phil Clarkson and his wife Tracey stood guard as the bees gathered around a mobile hive perched on top of their vehicle.
Mr Clarkson, from Brockley Bees, tracked down the swarm to just a stone’s throw from the Cutty Sark, and stayed until just before 8.30pm trying to calm the swarm.
He said the swarm possibly came from Greenwich Park, but he could not be sure.
‘Nobody was stung here today. People did get a bit nervous, and they were quite concerned understandably,’ he said.
‘But then when we talked to people and explained to them that actually a swarm is very benign, the likelihood of getting stung is very, very rare, and in most cases it’s only when people swat them or squash them on their body that the bee will sting them.
‘They’re very calm and very docile when they’re swarming,’ he said. ‘At this time of the year [swarming is] quite common, but it is rare to get them to land on such things as traffic lights.’
A local hairdresser raised the alarm shortly after 5pm when she spotted the bees near the Old Royal Naval College.