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Day of Rapture? Monstrous swarm of 20,000 bees terrorizes Perth

Just like a 1950’s monster movie, a swarm of bees terrorised one of Perth’s most crowded streets last Friday, forcing authorities to close a number of shops while they controlled the crisis.

The nightmarish scene that would’ve made Hitchcock proud happened around the corner of Murray and William Streets at lunchtime.

According to reports, the swarm descended at 12:30 pm, promptly forcing some shops to close. Beekeepers called by the City of Perth arrived about 3 pm and controlled the situation in around an hour. Authorities also urged pedestrians to avoid the area until the insects were neutralised.

Mike Conway from Bivouac Beekeeping said about the impromptu insect invasion attempt: “It was the largest colony I’ve seen this season. It was about two metres up the wall by a metre wide.”

A citizen identified as Andrew from the G-Star Raw store in the Wesley Quarter confirmed to the press that the swarm appeared at 12:30 pm.

“He took them all away, and about 3:40 pm all the bees that didn’t get taken away ended up dying. We were allowed to officially open our doors about 4:15 pm.”

Liria Siragusa, a city retail worker in the quarter, said things became “hectic” as people seemed not to notice the swarm until they were actually in the thick of it.

“It looked like a big cloud of black, like the rapture,” she said. “It was great to see everyone’s reactions, everyone was having a good time, ducking through it [and] having a laugh.”

Beekeeper Mike Conway estimated there were more than twenty thousand bees in the swarm, and stated it was difficult to pinpoint a reason the fiery insects chose that particular location.

A shoe sale going on, perhaps?

“You would have to talk to the bees about that one,” he said. “Looking for a home in the CBD is not too easy for them. I wouldn’t say it’s common but it does happen in the city of Perth. There is (sic) so many people keeping bees in very unusual places including the CBD that there is (sic) bees everywhere now.”