What Happens When A Bee Beard Goes WRONG: Bee Bearding 101!

What is bee bearding?

Bee bearding is the somewhat strange practice of attracting many thousands of bees to one’s neck and face… for fun!

It’s a unique experience for people who:

  • Like that sort of thing
  • bucket list item for thrill-seekers
  • something ridiculous for entertainers to subject themselves to

Are you thinking of giving it a go?

Bee Beard

For one of the best examples of a bee beard (gone wrong) watch the video above!

The subject of the bee beard, Coyote Petterson from the popular Brave Wilderness YouTube Channel, is not a beekeeper but is under the supervision of experts.

He ends up with about 3000 bees on his neck and face for a minute and a half but keeps getting stung.

Unfortunately for Coyote, and fortunately for us (for comedic reasons), the bee stings seem to mostly target his lips!

The result…

bee bearding

… Mr. Potato Head 😂 😂 😂.

Coyote is stung over 30 times on the neck and face and the swelling is pretty extreme.

As far as entertainment goes, it doesn’t get much better than this – especially if you’re a fan of the show and familiar with the team.

The best quote of the episode comes during Coyote’s run-down (at the 9:54 mark):

Host Coyote *while looking like the Elephant Man and drooling*:

‘I can definitely say that the bee beard was an experience worth experiencing. So far I haven’t had any major adverse allergic reactions other than just this localized swelling on my face and lips…’

Cameraman Mark Vinns *while trying not to wet himself with laughter*:

‘You can hardly tell.’

We highly recommend this episode wherein you will learn a lot more about bee beards and this crazy sport of bee bearding.

Bee Bearding

This video shows a more successful attempt at creating a bee beard.

Link is the person covered in bees and he only gets stung once!

The method of bee application is a bit different here with Link sitting down and having the bees applied to his lap.

He has a queen bee attached to his lap, as well as two queen pheromone rods.

Beard Of Bees

So how does bee bearding work?

The individual who is going to wear the bee beard does not need to wear a bee suit or bee veil – obviously, that would defeat the purpose!

However, the ears, nose, and around the eyes are rubbed with vaseline to discourage the bees from going inside.

Some people also put cotton wool in their nose and ears as extra protection. Shirts can be taped down to keep the bees out of the shirt!

A queen bee in a box is taped to the underside of the person’s chin, or, a queen bee pheromone. This is what attracts the honey bees onto the body.

The bees are prepared for the experience by separating the queen up to 2 days beforehand.

The bees are well-fed with sugar syrup so that they are less likely to sting. Most beekeepers will also only use young bees for bee bearding as they are also less likely to sting.

However, different beekeepers do have different methods of preparing the bees, the subject, and themselves for this, as we have seen from the two videos shared here.

Covered In Bees

In this last video, Coyote has a second attempt at getting covered in bees… and succeeds!

This time it’s with 10,000 bees and he has a live ‘queen bee necklace’, rather than just the pheromones.

The interesting thing with these bees is that they are Africanized bees that have been housed with a European queen bee, and he only gets stung a couple of times.

So that’s our man covered in bees – another one worth watching!

Bees are so important and there are so many interesting things to learn about them.

We love the way they gather in swarms and can be collected, how there are so many different varieties from the bumblebee to other ground bees, and on and on.

Thanks for stopping by to learn with us!


4 thoughts on “What Happens When A Bee Beard Goes WRONG: Bee Bearding 101!”

  1. I’ve seen this episode and couldn’t stop laughing… there’s something so satisfying about watching someone torture themselves like this!


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