Honey bees are vitally important for our environment, but it's understandable that you might not want an entire hive of them in your backyard compost bin. That's where Erika Thompson of TexasBeeWorks comes in. Erika is a master beekeeper and removal expert.
She uses social media to show off her bee-related skills and educate us about the fascinating creature that is the honey bee. In a recent viral TikTok video, Erika shows us step-by-step how she removes an entire hive of bees without harming any of them or getting stung. And it's incredible to watch.
In the video, we see Erika approach a massive hive without any protective gear on. In the background, she narrates her method for bee removal from the beginning of the process to the end.
"First," she says, "I started to carefully remove the comb structure of the hive. I fit the pieces of comb that had baby bees and the bees' food into wooden frames. Next, it was time to start scooping bees into the new hive." As she does this, she takes her bare hand and gently coaxes a group of bees onto her hand, and then she lets them down into the new hive.
She assures us that she wears protective gear when she needs to. But since she works with bees every single day, she can easily read their behavior and she knew that these honey bees were gentle and wouldn't try to sting her. She was right!
Erika continues the process of removing comb and bees from the compost bin until she is able to spot the queen bee. She was able to put the queen in a clip, where she was safe, and put that clip into the new hive. Soon, the rest of the bees followed the queen into the new hive.
Soon, almost all of the bees had moved to the new hive. That's when she lifted it up and took it to her truck to relocate it! The compost bin was free once more. Twitter user @thegallowboob reposted Erika's TikTok to Twitter, where it gained even more views and praise from people all over the world.
Turns out, Erika's TikTok and Instagram pages are both full of fascinating and informative videos and images. I personally got really distracted looking for the queen bee in her queen spotting challenge videos. They're really hard to find!
On the TexasBeeWorks website, you can learn a little more about Erika's experience with the buzzy bugs. She writes that she's been fascinated by insects since she was a little kid. In 2011, she took a beekeeping class "with no intention of becoming a beekeeper," but she loved it so much that she started her first hive in her backyard.
From there, her business grew. Now, she does bee removal as well as private beekeeping lessons and consultations for those who have their own hives. She also hosts educational programs to teach people about the importance of bees and the practice of beekeeping.
Erika works really hard to advocate for honey bees and protect these pollinators from harm. The FDA acknowledges that while honey and beeswax are significant products produced by honey bees, "the greatest importance of honey bees to agriculture isn't a product of the hive at all. It's their work as crop pollinators."
You probably don't love bees as much as Erika Thompson does, but you should love bees enough to want to see them treated with care. And that's why you should follow TexasBeeWorks on all their platforms! It's the bee's knees!