Drivers lunged to pull up their windows as a swarm of bees zoomed over the Ace of Spades roundabout yesterday.

Surrey Comet:

Pic: Jon Sharman

The buzzing cloud eventually alighted on an iPlus terminal outside Londis in Hook Road, giving pedestrians a shock.

Bees and other bugs like wasps and spiders are in for a prosperous and populous summer, following a mild winter and early spring sunshine.

Some large swarms in the capital have been blamed on novice beekeeping.

A restless queen can split her hive, flying away with a portion of her workers and leaving behind a batch of queen cells, which will later hatch and take over the colony.

Beekeeper Helen Sherry, from Tolworth, who responded to the call to scoop up the swarm, said: "I was literally around the corner.

"Because they were on the public information stand, that's not really the ideal situation to collect a swarm.

"We like them on a low bush or hanging off a branch. When they're on the side of a flat surface you have to brush them off. You have to do it gradually.

"This is the busiest time of the year for a beekeeper. If your bees swarm you haven't got enough to produce honey.

"You've got to be looking in your hives every single week in order to prevent swarms from happening. 

"Even the best beekeepers in the world are going to get the odd rogue swarm that's going to escape. They produce themselves another queen.

"If the general public see any swarms in these places just don't panic. Don't touch them. They're going to be at their most relaxed, easy-going stage.

"They're not being aggressive at all as they're basically trying to find a new home.

"The best thing to do is to contact your local beekeeping association. Someone will come out and it will be free."

Beekeepers who come to collect swarms fund the trips out of their own pockets.

Ms Sherry, from Kingston Beekeepers, said honey bee colonies can number between 20,000 and 30,000 insects, a total that can double by the end of summer.

She added: "The bees will start to produce what we call queen cells, which look a little bit like the husk of a peanut.

"If they want to swarm, which is their natural inclination, they will keep producing a queen until they've managed it.

"What beekeepers should be doing is an artificial swarm. That means tricking the bees into thinking that they have already swarmed by dividing up your hive, then bringing it back together again."