Brave woman moves thousands of bees with her BARE HANDS – and takes a bite out of their honeycomb

A Texas beekeeper has shocked social media users with a video that shows her holding handfuls of bees with her bare hands — and even taking a bite out of their honeycomb as they swarm around her.

Erika Thompson, a professional beekeeper based in Austin, shares quite a lot of videos of herself bravely handling thousands of the buzzing insects on her TikTok account, @texasbeeworks.

And her latest clip has left viewers reeling as they watch her remove a beehive from the floor of a backyard shed, using her bare hands to scoop the honeybees up to move them and even sample their honey. 

Buzz-worthy! Erika Thompson is a professional beekeeper based in Austin. In a recent viral video, she demonstrates how she removed a hive from the floor of a shed

Buzz-worthy! Erika Thompson is a professional beekeeper based in Austin. In a recent viral video, she demonstrates how she removed a hive from the floor of a shed

Something else! Commenters have expressed both horror and awe over her casual handling of the bees

Something else! Commenters have expressed both horror and awe over her casual handling of the bees

‘Here’s how I removed a beehive from a backyard shed,’ she says in the clip, explaining that the bees were living under the floor — which she could see from the side of the shed, where several of the bees were swarming.

‘I found the hive entrance, but to see the size and location, I used my thermal camera,’ she says. 

When the thermal camera picked up the spot of the floor where the largest number of bees had gathered, Erika used power tools to cut into that area.

For protective equipment, Erika had only a hat with a veil over her face, though her hands were completely bare. 

‘I carefully lifted the piece I cut out and discovered a beautiful hive full of honey,’ she says, zooming in with her camera.

‘Since the bees were gentle and it was over 100 degrees out, I took off my veil, enjoyed some fresh honey, and went to work removing bees.’

'Here's how I removed a beehive from a backyard shed,' she says in the clip, explaining that the bees were living under the floor

‘Here’s how I removed a beehive from a backyard shed,’ she says in the clip, explaining that the bees were living under the floor

'I found the hive entrance, but to see the size and location, I used my thermal camera,' she says

Sleuthing: When her thermal camera picked up the spot of the floor where the largest number of bees had gathered, Erika used power tools to cut into that area

Sleuthing: When her thermal camera picked up the spot of the floor where the largest number of bees had gathered, Erika used power tools to cut into that area

Yikes! She lifts up the floor to reveal the hive, which is swarming with thousands of bees

Yikes! She lifts up the floor to reveal the hive, which is swarming with thousands of bees

What gloves? For protective equipment, Erika had only a hat with a veil over her face, though her hands were completely bare.

She says: 'Since the bees were gentle and it was over 100 degrees out, I took off my veil, enjoyed some fresh honey, and went to work removing bees'

What gloves? For protective equipment, Erika had only a hat with a veil over her face, though her hands were completely bare.

When she says she enjoyed ‘fresh’ honey, she means it: Erika simply picked up a piece of honeycomb straight from the spot under the floor and took a small bite, licking her lips as live bees flew about.

But that wasn’t even the most shocking part. 

‘I scooped the bees into a temporary travel hive while looking for the queen,’ she says next, as she shows herself gently picking up dozens of bees with her bare hands and moving them over to the travel hive.

‘As a professional bee keeper, I’ve learned how to read the bees’ behavior and could tell that these bees could not sting me,’ she adds.

The video continues to show her dipping her hand into the hole in the floor, where thousands of moving bees have concentrated.

‘Next, I removed the comb structure of the hive that had baby bees and food, and I put it into frames so that the bees would have everything they need in their new home,’ she goes on.

No big deal! Erika didn't appear afraid to have so many bees around her

No big deal! Erika didn’t appear afraid to have so many bees around her

Erika simply picked up a piece of honeycomb straight from the spot under the floor and took a small bite, licking her lips as live bees flew about

Erika simply picked up a piece of honeycomb straight from the spot under the floor and took a small bite, licking her lips as live bees flew about

'I scooped the bees into a temporary travel hive while looking for the queen,' she says

‘I scooped the bees into a temporary travel hive while looking for the queen,’ she says

Brave! She shows herself gently picking up dozens of bees with her bare hands and moving them over to the travel hive

Brave! She shows herself gently picking up dozens of bees with her bare hands and moving them over to the travel hive

That’s when she saw the queen surrounded by her attending bees. This made the job easier, as Erika was able to put the queen in a clip and move that over to the travel case.

‘All of the other bees followed her into the new hive,’ she says.

‘So I closed up the hive, carefully picked it up, loaded it into my truck to take the bees to their new home, and it was another great day of saving the bees,’ she concludes. 

While the clip has certainly left some viewers feeling unsettled, honeybees are actually fairly docile, and less likely to sting than a wasp or hornet.

According to PBS, hives contain about 60,000 female honeybees, or worker bees, which can sting. The male drones do not sting. 

While the worker bees do sting, they’ll only do so to defend the hive — which is part of their main job, along with gathering nectar and pollinating. 

There she is! That's when she saw the queen surrounded by her attending bees

There she is! That’s when she saw the queen surrounded by her attending bees

This made the job easier, as Erika was able to put the queen in a clip and move that over to the travel case

'All of the other bees followed her into the new hive,' she says

A cinch! This made the job easier, as Erika was able to put the queen in a clip and move that over to the travel case. ‘All of the other bees followed her into the new hive,’ she says

'So I closed up the hive, carefully picked it up, loaded it into my truck to take the bees to their new home, and it was another great day of saving the bees,' she concludes

'So I closed up the hive, carefully picked it up, loaded it into my truck to take the bees to their new home, and it was another great day of saving the bees,' she concludes

‘So I closed up the hive, carefully picked it up, loaded it into my truck to take the bees to their new home, and it was another great day of saving the bees,’ she concludes

Unlike a wasp, honeybees also die after stinging, since their stinger will detach from their body as they move to pull it out of their victim.

Despite the relative safety, Erika’s video still elicited some strong reactions on social media.

‘Man she really just went wrist deep in those bees,’ wrote one.

‘That is fascinating and completely terrifying,’ wrote another, while a third said, ‘Dead. I would be dead. I’m dying.’

Others, though, have been incredibly impressed with Erika’s bravery, calling her ‘amazing,’ ‘awesome,’ ‘wholesome,’ and ‘like a Disney princess.’ 

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