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What Happens When a Queen Bee Decides to Ride a Motorcycle

A street in Sydney, Australia, ended up hosting a cloud of worker bees three stories high.

We all have to leave room in our lives for whim and instinct, even if chaos occasionally results. For example, as a queen bee led a swarm through central Sydney, Australia, this Friday, November 3, she decided to take a short break, and settled down on a red motorcycle parked near the sidewalk.

Perhaps she wanted to explore a new aspect of her identity. Perhaps she was simply seeking a faster way to travel. Her entourage didn’t ask; they just waited around for their leader. And this is how a massive cloud of bees descended on Castlereagh Street.

As ABC News reports, this all happened around lunchtime, so plenty of people were out to see it. “It looked like a cloud of confetti,” one observer, Ricky Lee, told the outlet. “I thought it was a ticker-tape parade.”

Lee, who said the swarm was about three stories high and visible for blocks, described people running from the scene, “trying to get out of there as quickly as they [could].”

Luckily for all involved, at least one person ran the other way. Vicky Brown, a beekeeping teacher, came to the scene after one of her students told her what was going on.

Brown quickly located the queen on the motorbike, removed her, and put her in a special cage. Over the course of an hour, she was able to round up the rest of the bees, who, she posits, were happy to be back with their boss. “When they’re in a swarm they’re homeless and they feel really vulnerable,” Brown told ABC News.