From KVUE Austin:
"Queen of the bees," "the unstung hero" and "protector of the honeycombs" are all names one Austinite has been dubbed after her beekeeping videos went viral on social media. Erika Thompson is taking TikTok by swarm, one post at a time.
Most of her videos show her process for removing bees, and to many of her followers' surprise, she wears very little protective gear. You could say she's learned their "bee-havior."
"After keeping bees for nearly 10 years, I've learned to read their behavior and can tell when they're aggressive," Thompson said in a comment. "No stings and no bee suit needed here!"
Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope.
How is that Thompson can shake and hold and carry thousands of bees with little to no protective gear but I eat a donut near a trash can in September and take 3 stings to the hand while I run around zig-zagging like I'm on fire? I've been stung on playgrounds, getting basketballs out of bushes, playing hide & go seek, calmly waiting for a bus, out for jogs… These days if I'm within 20 feet of one I panic to the point where I get weird looks. Is it me? Do I just look like a giant asshole to these bees? Can they sense it? And she's got some magic touch that makes her invincible? I'm upset.
There's honestly no amount you could pay me to do it (ok, $50K+ for a one-off honeycomb hold) & meanwhile she'd do it for free out of sheer enjoyment. Honestly it's pretty awesome what she's doing to help preserve them & keep other folks from meeting my usual fate. Brass combs on that lady & an interesting Instagram follow.