Erika Thompson is the Queen Bee of TikTok. The 35-year-old Texas-native has gone viral for her mesmerizing videos of ethical bee removal. Rather than calling an exterminator, clients call Thompson to get rid of the infestation without killing the insects.
Instead of smoking them out with deadly gas, she takes the honey comb from the problem area and transfers it to a new hive. From there, she scoops the bees up with her bare hand and gently flicks them from one to another. It looks almost like she is holding a scoop of ice cream that is quickly melting. Once she locates and transfers the actual queen bee, the rest of the colony follows her to their new home. It’s equal parts mesmerizing, harrowing and satisfying. Her most recent video has been viewed more than 60 million times.
Thompson first started making the videos to document the process for her clients. She created a profile when the pandemic began and once it started to gain traction, she began to use it as a way to educate people as well. One of the most interesting videos is of Thompson explaining what she does if a bee colony needs a new queen. Did you know you can just order them in the mail?
Typically, her clients (understandably) choose not to be in attendance for the removal. However, one the more notable people to ask for her assistance partook in the process. Jason Derulo donned his finest beekeeping outfit and saved the bees.
Thompson didn’t always have beekeeping in mind. She took a class out of curiosity and ended up falling in love. Eventually, she decided to keep her own hive and it grew from there. We are the better for it, because not only is what she is doing great for the environment (bees are super essential), but her videos are awesome.