Bee Beard Videos

Bee Beard Finale: Trouble at the State Fair

The Bee Lab at the University of Minnesota has a yearly tradition of sporting a beard of bees at the Minnesota State Fair. Graduate students or employees of the Bee Lab don a beard of approximately 10,000 honey bees in a safely screened area in front of an amazed audience. Watch how Gary Reuter, lead UMN Bee Lab apiculture technician, uses his honey bee management experience to save the day and get the bee beard back on track despite some initial trouble. This video is the finale of a 3-part series. Exclusive behind-the-scenes techniques for preparing the bees and the volunteers who will wear the bees are featured in “Preparations for the Bee Beard” and “Bee Beard Practice Day.”

 

Preparation for Bee Beard

Making a bee beard is a fun pastime for very experienced beekeepers and an unforgettable lesson in honey bee biology for the audience. Watch Gary Reuter, lead apiculture technician for the University of Minnesota Bee Lab, show the process that resulted in several volunteers wearing a beard of approximately 10,000 honey bees. This video demonstrates the behind-the-scenes preparation of an artificial swarm for the bee beard. To see the actual bee beards, watch “Bee Beard Practice Day” and “Bee Beard Finale: Trouble at the State Fair.”

 

Bee Beard Practice Day

Practice makes perfect! Watch the University of Minnesota Bee Lab practice donning and doffing bee beards in preparation for the Minnesota State Fair (See Bee Beard Finale: Trouble at the State Fair, and Preparations for the Bee Beard). Gary Reuter, lead UMN Bee Lab apiculture technician, harnesses the bees’ instinct to gather in a group around the queen when in a swarm. You will see how the bees build a beard on willing and smiling volunteers. Did anyone get stung? We think not.