A viral beekeeper used her bare hands to move a swarm of bees, before offering a new queen to ensure their survival.
Erika Thompson, who goes by @texasbeeworks on TikTok, has amassed more than 6.4 million followers for her fearless efforts to help bees. Instead of wearing the outfits we’ve come to expect, she’s often in normal clothes with bare skin exposed, using her hands to carefully and humanely scoop them up.
While her work has recently attracted unwarranted criticism, most people have praised her for bravely handling them and promoting conservation.
Check out her latest video below:
In her most recent TikTok, Thompson found a swarm of bees under an umbrella, which she started scooping off and putting them into a hive. ‘When bees are in swarms like this, they’re looking for a new place to live,’ she explained.
‘They tend to be very docile, since they don’t have resources to defend. They don’t have a hive, food or baby bees to protect’ she added.
While moving the bees, she noticed they didn’t have a queen. While checking every handful, she soon realised this was an ‘unusual case of a queenless swarm… this colony would not survive without a queen, but luckily I had an extra queen on me that I could give them’, she said.
The bees quickly rushed to meet the queen. ‘If they didn’t accept her, they would try to kill her,’ she warned. Fortunately, they did, quickly sending signals to the other bees to move from the umbrella into the hive. After they all moved, Thompson took the bees back to her apiary.
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