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How To Grow A Beard of Bees

YouTube’s “Naked Beekeeper” Michael Hegedus  on how to put some buzz in your facial fuzz.


Photo by Richard Austin / Rex USA

1. Enlist the help of a professional beekeeper to gain access to a hive. The day before you attempt your bee beard, place the queen bee in a “cage”—a small wooden box with a screen on one side and a loop of string tied to it.

2. Take some of the frames out of the hive and shake them off into a separate box—the nurse bees, who can’t fly, will tumble right in. Spray them with sugar water. They will gorge on it and become so bloated it will be hard for them to bend their tails to sting you.

3. Hang the cage with the queen around your neck. Pour the nurse bees onto a large piece of cardboard, and then hold it up to your chest. The bees will crawl upward and converge around the queen, forming a beard. (Pro tip: It’s a good idea to put cotton in your nose and ears and some Vaseline under your eyes.)

4. Now to shave! Place the queen cage on the piece of cardboard on the ground, then stand over it and jump, landing hard. Most of the bees will fall right off. Remove the clingers-on with a slow, smooth sweeping motion. This is the part where you’re most likely to be stung—probably should’ve warned you earlier on. Sorry.


BEE BONUS
When the buzz brings the fuzz.

That’s our expert above, and, no, he is not wearing any pants. Michael often works with honeybees with his most delicate parts on display just to show how safe it really is. That said, he has had his mishaps. The day before we spoke to Michael, he was arrested for “creating a public disturbance” when several thousand bees escaped from his car while he was teaching a beekeeping class in Brooklyn. Fortunately, he was clothed at the time…