Make a beard of bees

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Crazy people (who are technically scientists) show readers how to make a beard of bees to impress their friends or perhaps kill themselves in the least dignified way possible.

If you, like many entomologists, spend much of your life around bees, you get comfortable with them. You may even start getting a little too comfortable and begin to think up games you can play with them. Once you realized that 'tag' only ends up with you getting stung or the bee getting squished, and that really you can't compete with their numbers in hide-and-go-seek, the only thing left is to build a beard of bees. And you can do it. But only if you pick the right bees.

The hive you pick for your face foliage should be tame, and used to living near humans. It needs to see you not as a threat, but as a part of the landscape. What's more, it should be well fed. No one wants to be a beard unless they at least get a good meal out of it. In general, the bees should be feeling good, because you're about to do something very mean to them. You're about to take their queen. Actually, ideally someone else should do it, and they should have protective clothing for this.


Once you have the queen, you should put her in a tiny cage. While she mutters something about diplomatic immunity, strap that cage to your chin. Now comes the leap of faith. Take those queenless bees, and have them released in front of you. When bees swarm, looking for a new place to live, they surround their queen to protect her and keep her warm. They'll do the same thing now, piling up on your chin and becoming one massive beard of bees. Although they should be treated with caution, always, bees in this state are surprisingly passive. If they know their queen is safe and protected, they don't go looking for trouble.

Go ahead and build yourself a beard, and sometime next week I'll tell you how to get the queen off your chin again.


If I remember.

Via Live Science.