A huge swarm of bees descended on Sydney on Friday afternoon (3 November), forcing pedestrians to duck for cover and sending traffic grinding to a standstill.

The insects swarmed around the offices on Castlereagh Street in Sydney's central business district as people on their lunch break looked warily on. The bees eventually converged on a parked motorbike where their queen had settled.

Ricky Lee, who works in the area, told ABC News that the swarm looked like "a cloud of confetti."

"It was three storeys high, I thought it was a ticker-tape parade," he said. "There were people running on the other side of the street just trying to get out of there as quickly as they can. It could be seen from about two blocks away."

Beekeeper Vicky Brown of Urban Bees came to the rescue and removed the giant swarm after locating the queen.

"I found the queen, you find her and put her in a cage and the rest of the bees follow her inside," Brown said. "They still thought she was on the motorbike for a while, it took me about an hour to put them all in a box."

"Swarms are actually quite passive. When bees are in a swarm they're homeless and they feel really vulnerable and they're less likely to sting," she added. "Because I was crouched down low I could see her [the queen] and grabbed her and all the rest followed."