Beekeeper removes a huge bee colony from a shed with her bare hands and people are awed

For Erika Thompson, it was "just another Tuesday," but for the millions of people watching her work, it was a jaw-dropping (and terrifying) feat of insect-whispering magic.

A viral video shows Thompson, a professional beekeeper and the founder and owner of Austin-based Texas Beeworks, moving an enormous hive from the floorboards of someone's shed to a wooden hive. Her job is to move beehives from where they shouldn't be to where they should be, but seeing her do it with no special safety gear is impressive, if not alarming.

I mean, this combo of skill and fearlessness is something you just have to witness:



"This wasn't an extraordinary removal or an atypical one by any means," Thompson told the BBC. "Bees are often looking for a new place to build a hive, and these backyard sheds give them a really good environment where they're protected from the elements."

At the beginning of the video, we can see Thompson using a smoker to keep the bees calm. When a bee senses danger, it will emit an alarm pheromone that other bees pick up, which can quickly send them all into a panicked, stinging frenzy. Smoke temporarily interferes with bees' sense of smell so they can't detect those alarm pheromones, thereby keeping them calm.

That calm state allows Thompson to pull up the floorboards covered with bees and transfer the combs into the wooden hive. What's remarkable, however, is how she handles the bees barehanded, scooping them up like she's scooping up a thick liquid and then gently shaking them off at their new home.

In her TikTok videos, she's explained that she does wear protective equipment if bees are agitated. But when they are docile like this, the gear makes the work of moving the bees more cumbersome and increases the chance of them becoming alarmed. As long as she remains calm and intentional with her movements, the bees don't seem to mind.

And how about that "queen clip"? Thompson told the BBC that clips like that trap the queen bee during the move while still allowing the worker bees to take care of her. The bee colony will follow the queen's scent, so it's important to make sure she stays put in the new hive.

Thompson told BBC that what we see in the video is simply what she does on a regular basis. "One of the most incredible things about seeing the reaction to my videos has been just everybody's shock and awe at what is really just a normal Tuesday for me."

Honey bees are a vital part of our ecosystem, so calling a beekeeper like Thompson is a far better way to get rid of a bee problem than calling an exterminator. We all rely on bees to pollinate crops—without them, we'd have a much harder time eating. Many people found the video terrifying, as most of us have been stung at some point in our lives and the traumatic memories are real. But Thompson is doing us all a great service with this work. It's clear from seeing her in action that she truly cares about these creatures.

The Texas Beeworks TikTok videos have millions of views each, as people marvel at Thompson's ability to handle bees in ways that most of us would consider nightmare scenarios. But changing people's view of bees is a big part of why Thompson shares her work this way.

"Species of all types of bees and insects are incredibly important to the diversity of our ecosystem and to our food system," she told the BBC. "I hope that by showing people the incredible world of honey bees, that hopefully, they can learn something about them and maybe have a new understanding and respect for them."

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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