Honeybees are common in any garden and you’ll find them flitting from one flower to the other sucking nectar with single-minded devotion. However cute they may look, their nasty sting remains a big deterrent in befriending them. But for Erika Thompson, beekeeper, it seems child’s play, she not only befriends them but scoops them off with her bare hands, so much so, that the bees literally drip from her hands!
All this looks so easy because Thompson is a beekeeper in Austin in Texas, USA. And her claim to fame is the ethical bee removal that she captures on video. One that she had posted on social media shows her removing a two-year-old beehive hanging in a backyard shed without getting stung. This video has been viewed over 60 million times!
The truth is Thompson is in love with bees and she has 50 hives in her own backyard. This love for bees started when she took a beekeeping class out of curiosity. Although this University of Texas graduate was a communications director at a nonprofit organization, it was beekeeping that captured her heart. She went on to learn more about the bees and started keeping her own hive.
Thompson launched Texas Beeworks and helped other bee enthusiasts in beekeeping. So enamored was she with her work that she chucked her full-time job in favor of beekeeping. Says she on washingtonpost.com, “Nothing compares to going into a wild hive of bees and not knowing what you’re going to find. You take off the cover, and you get to meet the bees. It’s just extraordinary to get to see what the bees built without any human intervention or interference.”
Erika Thompson’s saves the bees campaign lays our fear of bee stings to rest. According to her, most honeybees are docile and don’t necessarily attack. It’s movies such as ‘The Swarm’ and ‘Candyman’ that depict the bees as killers and scare people into hating them. According to her, bees are a vital part of the ecosystem.
Thompson bee pictures have a viewership of over 396,000 fans on Instagram alone.