Austin, Texas-based bee whisperer Erika Thompson has become internet famous for her calming, low-equipment approach to relocating swarming bees. Her Texas Beeworks TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube accounts share her patient approach to bee care, as well as specific work challenges. Example: The Weirdest Place I’ve Ever Removed Bees From. That place: An abandoned toilet.
“All of this comb from the toilet will go into the new hive with the bees. The bees have worked hard to collect these resources and I want everything they had in their old home to move with them into their new home. This includes all of their food so all of the honey nectar and pollen in the hive and also all of the baby bees that have not yet emerged from their cells.”
As Thompson carefully moves the comb from the toilet tank and into wooden frames, she scans the hive for the queen. “Finding the queen bee is the key to any successful bee removal,” she explains. “This is because the bees are loyal to their queen and they’ll follow her wherever she goes.”
Reminder: Thompson is a pro with a decade of experience. Don’t try this at home.
“Seeing so much brood in the hive is always a good sign that the colony has a healthy queen, but I also saw tiny bee eggs in some of the cells which is a sure sign that the colony had a queen laying eggs within the past three days. This is because it takes three days for the eggs to hatch into larvae.
Here you can see a close-up shot of what the brood looked like inside the tank of the toilet.”
Watch the entire video 8.5 minute video to observe a successful relocation of the hive.
This next place, under a pool umbrella, is not so weird, but Thompson still handles it with calm and care. And when she finds out that this swarm doesn’t have a queen? No worries. Thompson has one in her pocket.
Watch these wonderful videos about bees next:
• The first 21 days of a bee’s life, a time lapse in 64 seconds
• How (and why) do bees sting?
• Detroit Hives: Transforming vacant Detroit lots into urban bee farms
• How does bumblebee barf create a queen?
• Please Please the Bees read by Rashida Jones