We witnessed a bee beard in person at the 2017 Texas Buzz Fest at BeeWeaver apiaries and it was such a neat experience. This is the ultimate in beekeeper stunts and although many beekeepers would never do it, others have it on their bucket list. Like anything, there are opinions on everything, including bee beards.
So, why would someone want to do this? Well, it’s a great way to illustrate how gentle bees can bee. Many people are completely surprised to find out you can allow bees to walk on your hands, much less your face. Bee beards are often done at festivals, farmers markets, beekeeper events as a way to engage non-beekeepers to ask more questions.
Now, the people in the “I’d never” camp may argue that it’s an unnecessary stunt and that’s fine too, but we enjoyed watching Travis Weaver and Dylan Weaver do their bee bearding was pretty priceless.
Here’s a timelapse of the “putting on” of the bee beard:
Safety tips for bee beards:
Use ear plugs or cotton balls to plug your ears and possibly even your nose.
Vaseline can be used to keep the bees from moving into unwanted spaces and keep them centered as a beard
Have a bee vacuum handy for removing a bee beard after the fact – the shaking method works but often results in more stings than necessary.
Move slowly and calmly as always – when working with bees patience is not only a virtue but a safety precaution.
Here’s an amazing high quality video (per usual) by Honking Goose Media of the Beeweaver Bee Beard.