AUSTIN, Texas - A video of an Austin-area beekeeper is drawing quite the buzz online.
"It’s been amazing, it’s been a little bit overwhelming but ultimately it’s just so exciting to know that so many people see the important work beekeepers do every day," said Erika Thompson, owner of Texas Beeworks.
The minute-long clip shows Thompson removing a beehive from the property. "That really was just an average Tuesday it wasn’t an extraordinary removal by any means and it’s just been crazy to see people's reactions to it," she said.
Shortly after posting the video to social media it swarmed with views and gained more than 50 million within 24 hours. What seemed to gain a lot of attention was her method as Thompson doesn’t use a beekeeping suit and even used her bare hands to handle some of these bees.
"I’ve been doing this for 10 years. I’ve learned to read the bees' behavior over that time. They send you signs and signals to let you know how they’re feeling and probably the most important lesson I’ve learned as a beekeeper is to listen to the bees," said Thompson.
While all this recent attention is making Thompson the queen bee of social media, at the moment she’s just hopeful her viewers learn something about these little insects and all the work they do.
"Hopefully teach people that you don’t necessarily have to be afraid of bees and there’s a lot of things people can do to help the bees," Thompson said. "They are incredibly important for our ecosystem and also to our food system and to our planet as a whole."
As for the bees seen in the video, Thompson said she takes all hives she removes to her own property giving them a place to belong.