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If beekeeping is the serious and work-intensive part of having anything to do with bees, then bee bearding is the fun part of it. If, that is, your idea of fun is having tens or even hundreds of thousands of bees crawling all over you while suppressing the urge to run away. Read on for more pictures and to see what motivates people to bee this adventurous.
Though bee bearding is by no means a recent activity, it has rarely made it into a dictionary entry. Wikipedia, meanwhile, defines bee bearding as “the practice of wearing several hundred thousand honey bees on one’s face, usually as a sideshow-type activity.”
Image: via Andrew Gough
A bee in his bonnet?
It’s no wonder that the Guinness Book of Records has kept a category of “most pounds of bees worn on the body.” The bees are weighed rather than counted because, depending on the honey bee strain, their weight can differ considerably.
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The current Guinness world record holder is Mark Biancaniello, an American animal trainer. In 1998, he wore 350,000 bees, altogether weighing 87 pounds. The previous record was held by Dren Rollins, owner of a tattoo studio, who wore 81 pounds of bees in a 1995 Nebraska country fair as part of his enthusiasm for ‘extreme sports’. Rollins still holds the title for the most pounds of bees worn by an ‘amateur’.