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Bee beards and bee body coverings: Don't try this at home
July 17, 2011 11:30 AM   Subscribe

Want to make your own bee beard? This video from the Clovermead Bee Competition described how (put a queen bee in a little cage, add bees). See images of bee beards as contestants try to build beards that weigh the most. Why stop there when you can get bees to cover your entire body, as they do in a competition in China?
posted by Wolfster (25 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
These bees...are they actually crawling on your junk? Cause that makes for some kind of horrible phobic nightmare for me.

Cool post. We'll see if I can still sleep.
posted by Mcable at 11:44 AM on July 17, 2011


Yeah, yeah, wait until they see my bear beard, where I strap a mother bear to my neck and get all her cubs to crawl on me!
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:50 AM on July 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Want to make your own bee beard?

Etsy has gone too far this time.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:28 PM on July 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Everything about this appalls me.
posted by kiltedtaco at 12:34 PM on July 17, 2011


I wouldn't want to be even close to that unless there were a swimming pool near by I could jump into in an emergency.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 12:34 PM on July 17, 2011


Justin another Bieber
posted by stbalbach at 12:36 PM on July 17, 2011


I like the first picture in the Chinese competition link. He looks like a superhero who can turn into bees, which might not seem like much of a superpower, but it is a superpower.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:38 PM on July 17, 2011


So, uh, don't they sting?
posted by Anything at 12:48 PM on July 17, 2011


My views on this range from "oh hell no" to "getitoffgetitoffgetitoffgetitofff!"
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:48 PM on July 17, 2011


I like the first picture in the Chinese competition link. He looks like a superhero who can turn into bees, which might not seem like much of a superpower, but it is a superpower.

posted by GenjiandProust at 12:38 PM on July 17


"Next season on Heroes"
posted by kensch at 12:49 PM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


[INSERT WICKER MAN JOKE HERE]
posted by brundlefly at 12:54 PM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, uh, don't they sting?

Bee swarms aren't particularly aggressive, despite looking scary, though they will still sting you incidentally and can attack if they perceive a threat. If you are a full-time beekeeper like these dudes, you have built up a pretty strong tolerance to bee toxin, and the average sting goes unnoticed. Handling swarms is routine (beekeepers regularly get called to collect feral swarms when they are reported), though encouraging them to cover your body is not.
posted by mek at 1:25 PM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


European bees are really quite unaggressive. But you wouldn't want to do anything like this with africanized bees -- they'd kill you.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:31 PM on July 17, 2011


All I can think of.
posted by nat at 1:34 PM on July 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Want to make your own bee beard?
Nope!
posted by Flunkie at 1:57 PM on July 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Bigipedia had an excellent article about The Bee Whisperer.
posted by hippybear at 2:50 PM on July 17, 2011


The European Honey Bee is basically domesticated at this point, as much as an insect can be. Caring for hives requires opening them up and poking around inside on a fairly regular basis. That's pretty much a worst-case situation, as far as the bees are concerned. But even so, they don't completely flip out and start stinging you en masse.

The bees in bee beards are even more laid back since the 'defend the hive' response isn't triggered.
posted by ryanrs at 3:31 PM on July 17, 2011


MetaFilter: basically domesticated at this point; they don't completely flip out and start stinging you en masse.
posted by hippybear at 3:42 PM on July 17, 2011


MetaFilter: basically domesticated at this point; they don't completely flip out and start stinging you en masse.

hippybear, you have been on this site long enough to know better....
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:00 PM on July 17, 2011


True. I've been stung en masse more than once. I thought maybe by putting some positive energy out there via a tagline, the nature of the site would change and I'd keep that from happening to others.
posted by hippybear at 5:10 PM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


European bees are really quite unaggressive. But you wouldn't want to do anything like this with africanized bees -- they'd kill you.

Racist.
posted by hal_c_on at 5:10 PM on July 17, 2011


The Guinness Book of Records has a category for "most pounds of bees worn on the body," reportedly held by US animal trainer Mark Biancaniello who attracted 39.5 kilos (87lb) of bees onto his body. (from the China link)

87 pounds of bees!? What?

Some Googling suggests bees weigh about 0.1 grams. So that's about 4500 bees per pound; 87 pounds is 390,000 bees. Which is at least eight large colonies.

How do you get 87 pounds of bees!?

Now the "why" of it makes perfect sense to me. But how?
posted by kprincehouse at 7:52 PM on July 17, 2011


At this stage I am sticking with the beer beard.
posted by Wolof at 11:55 PM on July 17, 2011


At this stage I am sticking with the beer beard.

An I would be curious -- in an inversion of an earlier suggestion -- to see a bear with a human beard. As of now I think you could produce such a thing by strapping Rupert Murdoch to the chin of a bear and sending a message to every non- News Corp newsroom that Rupert Murdoch is strapped to the chin of a bear.
posted by Anything at 5:50 AM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


(An -> And)
posted by Anything at 5:50 AM on July 18, 2011


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