As a now-viral creator who does include educational information about bees in their videos, Texas Beeworks has the power to influence how their viewers interact with bees in real life, and that can be life-threatening. “It was another great day of saving the bees,” she finishes each of her videos. “However, this company claims to ‘preserve, protect, and increase bee populations across’ Texas without ever mentioning supporting our native bees on their website or TikTok,” @entomologyabby says in a video. Save the bees! “No. But would it really be a shock for a white woman from Texas to be a Trump supporter? But relocating pest hives alone isn’t saving the bees.”

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Tags: “Even if she’s going in with the suit and doing the entire removal herself, she then takes off the suit and poses as bee removal Barbie, holding little bits of comb, wearing inappropriate clothes with her hair down, and it’s fake,” LAHBR says in another video from May. “She’s faking the job. But according to entomologist and TikToker @entomologyabby, in order to actually protect and support all bees and their work in our environment, you have to do more than save honeybees. we know you’re faking.” 😳— aisha ☭ (@diligenda) May 24, 2021

How do you fake picking up bees with your bare hands? Photo: Texas Bee Works via TikTok

Bee TikTok has officially migrated to Twitter, going viral with videos by @texasbeeworks, Erika Thompson, where she scoops up bees with her bare hands like a Snow White for insects, relocates massive honeybee swarms with her blonde hair down, and sometimes has a spare queen riding in her chest pocket. It’s unclear if they were aware of the species. “I’m 100% okay with her showing how docile swarms are, but the fact is that she goes into removals without wearing any safety gear, wearing black leggings, a black tank top, and a dark blue shirt that’s unbuttoned overtop and knotted,” one TikToker @lahoneybeerescue says in a video series. Quite interesting. So, she beez in the trap? “She’s setting a very dangerous precedent.” Get stuck on all the drama in the bee community below. According to the beekeeping website bee hour, bees evolved to defend their hive from wild animals who usually have dark fur. I’m straight up calling her out and saying what you do is fake.” The videos were taken down after fans reported their account but were reuploaded to Twitter. Not today. Not necessarily, no. Is she really a Trump supporter?There’s no evidence online to support that, even on her Instagram where she follows the president and vice-president. The truth might just sting. @lahoneybeerescue has since had their account restored. Thompson is accused of sedating bees to make them easier to handle, having her husband pre-cut pieces of honeycomb, and staging the swarm removals, all making it easier for her to go viral with unsafe practices. As a result, @lahoneybeerescue accused Texas Beeworks of being “fake.” “You can come in the comments and bitch at me and say that I shouldn’t be coming after other women and I’m not supporting her and whatnot,” they say. This is why beekeeper suits are all white. That’s not what it looks like.”

Are they actually saving bees?Using a honeybee relocation service rather than an exterminator does save bee lives. With over 6 million followers on TikTok, Thompson, who owns and operates Texas Beeworks, has earned hundreds of millions of views and even collaborated with stars like Jason Derulo, who she encourages to take off his veil and eat fresh honeycomb with bees on it. And, of course, exposed skin risks stings. Bees are also reactive toward dark colors, like black and brown, making Thompson’s all-black uniform a dangerous example to follow. Basically, the masses should not think they can interact with a bee hive in the same clothes they wore to Target. “Does that mean this company doesn’t support native bees? In a May 22 series, TikToker and bee professional @lahoneybeerescue notes that it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between killer bees and less defensive bees without antagonizing them, something Texas Beeworks does not show in their videos. Other beekeepers and entomologists are starting to take issue with the viral clips, which often show Thompson interacting with bees with little to no protection. They also question just how much “saving” she’s actually doing by relocating non-native honeybees to her own apiary, with some going so far as to accuse the couple of staging bee rescues. “ @ texas bee works: we all see you. Let her make her money, honey!It’s not that simple. Honeybees, killer or otherwise, are not native to the United States and are mainly used for agricultural purposes because they can destabilize native bee species who are already at risk of extinction, per Scientific American. Texas Beeworks hasn’t responded themselves, though another video of @lahoneybeerescue has surfaced where they also aren’t using protective gear to handle bees but have short hair and is seen in white.