Friends, buzzing bees, queens of the hive, gather round. There’s some new drama going down on TikTok and it involves two rival beekeepers. Drama in the beekeeping community? You better bee-lieve it. Well, without further ado, let’s get our stingers into this.
There are many things that people can expect from TikTok. Good-looking straight people standing there and doing nothing but looking pretty? All the time. Gorgeous food trends and wild and wacky hacks? Of course. But one thing you don’t usually see is full-blown drama. Alas, that’s where the beekeepers come in, apparently.
So what’s all the buzz about?
Our story starts with TikTok creator @texasbeeworks (Erika Thompson), a professional beekeeper from Austin, Texas, who consistently goes hyper-viral for her unique style of beekeeping videos. In the vids, she walks out to colonies of bees in places they shouldn’t be (like peoples homes), and with her bare-ass hands, picks the bees up and helps create a safe home for them.
She notoriously never wears facial protection or any kind of PPE, and always looks fkn stunning while saving the bees. Honestly, we stan, how iconic.
And, she apparently keeps a spare queen bee in her pocket at all times, as you can see in this vid below. Basically, she’s a gay icon (or at least I’m calling her such).
She’s even friends with Jason Derulo apparently?? And helped clear the bees from his property while feeding him warm honey???
It’s another iconic and viral video from @texasbeeworks, and it further cements the fact that Derulo really cannot say anything without sounding horny. He just exudes BDE (google it), whether he likes it or not.
Now you get the gist of what kind of videos @texasbeeworks makes. They’re basically all like this, and feature Thompson looking immaculate and handling bees without a care for being stung at all. Now, here’s when things get spicy.
Hold onto your honeybees, here comes the drama
Introducing @lahoneybeerescue, a fellow bee removalist who has some serious beef with the way that @texasbeeworks does things.
In a series of TikTok videos, they claim that Erika Thompson not only fakes her videos, but is providing dangerous information about the removal of bees to viewers. The lack of protective gear, the long hair and the posed nature of the videos irks @lahoneybeerescue, who says that most female bee removalists get rid of their hair to make the job safer.
“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,” they said in a TikTok vid.
“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. No. I’m straight-up calling her out and saying what you do is fake.”
In a second video, @lahoneybeerescue also claims that a lot of the work that Thompson does is in fact done by her husband, while she performs for the camera.
“What she’s doing, opening hives with her hair down, wearing dark clothes with exposed skin, is dangerous,” @lahoneybeerescue said.
“She doesn’t show herself wearing protective gear when she’s removing comb, which her husband has very courteously cut up for her. Her husband goes in, cuts everything up for her and she lifts it up.”
A wild claim indeed.
“What you do is fake. I see you. We all see you. All of us female removal specialists, we see you. We all know you’re faking. Enjoy your millions of followers, that’s not why I do this,” they continue in a third video.
Throughout multiple videos, Thompson is accused of using her husband’s help and simply pretending to aid the bees. She is also alleged to have used sedatives on the bees to make them less harmful and easier to scoop up.
Other beekeepers on TikTok also made passive-aggressive jabs at @texasbeeworks. What’s the crime here, being gorgeous and talented at the same time?
Heres @thetipsybeekeeper complaining about some people handling bees with a full face of makeup. I wonder who on Earth he could be talking about.
The vid has since been deleted, but here it still exists online in other forms, such as the one below.
In the case of all things Twitter, some folks heard that Texas Bee Works was the target of an internet controversy, and they decided to share the fact that she’s also, apparently, a Donald Trump supporter.
Is she? There’s absolutely no evidence towards it whatsoever. In fact, she seems to follow a lot of left-leaning influencers and personalities, as well as politicians.
The only thing that people have as evidence towards her supporting Trump is the fact that she’s a white woman from Texas. Alas, the internet will do what it always does best, and that’s stir shit.
texas bee works (the bee lady) is a tr*mp supporter and apparently the way she handles the bees is very dangerous and bee removal specialist are v angry with her because this can k!ll people ????
— Winston Smith Was Assassinated ☭ (@diligenda) May 24, 2021
An Instagram clapback
Texas Bee Works decided to clapback at all the hate she’s been receiving online with an Instagram post. It’s important to note here that she doesn’t even mention @lahoneybeerescue at all, because that would be free clout.
Also, @lahoneybeerescue has had her Instagram deleted for the time being due to being reported constantly by supporters of Texas Bee Works. Much to think about.
“Recently, a series of untrue and hurtful attacks was made about me and my work. Then, journalists chose to support and reward this online harassment by perpetuating a false narrative without taking time to check the facts,” Thompson wrote.
“It’s a sad day when people see a woman doing something that’s so outside of the norm, they assume there’s no way she can actually be doing those things, and if she is, she must be getting help from a man.”
Oof. Way to fkn clapback.
“As a professional beekeeper, it’s my mission and my purpose to help people understand and appreciate the work of bees and beekeepers, and I’d really like to get back to doing that now,” she continued.
A TikTok response to an Instagram response to a TikTok
Naturally, because this whole scandal is born from everyone being incredibly online, @lahoneybeerescue has responded to Texas Bee Works’ Instagram post (which was a response to a series of TikToks) on TikTok. My head hurts. My stinger is throbbing. When will this drama end? (Not yet, my friend. Not yet.)
“Not once in this entire response does she address her lack of PPE. She spent the entire time victimizing her online persona, and made everything I said about the help she gets from her husband,” they say in a TikTok vid.
“I didn’t attack her, this is not bullying.”
Discrediting someone’s work, claiming it’s all their husband’s and calling them a posed Barbie isn’t bullying apparently. Moving swiftly along!
@texasbeeworks posting my opinions to my own account is not bullying. What your followers have done to me and my business is. Stop playing the victim
Enter Entomology Abby
This part of the drama is super unimportant, but I thought I’d add it just to flesh out the full fkn story.
TikTok user @entomologyabby joins the controversy with a video that says while what @texasbeeworks is doing is fine, it isn’t exactly saving the bees. Really she’s just removing pest bees and putting them into a safer space that’s less dangerous for humans.
So yeah, nothing major, but it’s good to know that an entomologist doesn’t really have a problem with her.
Naturally, @lahoneybeerescue is all about PPE, and is always sure to wear it in every video that they make. I mean, one of their main gripes with @texasbeeworks, as we have seen, is the fact that she walks up to bees all dolled up without protective gear, and just scoops them up.
So anyway, here is a video of @lahoneybeerescue, posted on another account, in which they are wearing absolutely no PPE and picking up bees with their bare hands. It’s almost like beekeepers and removalists who know what they’re doing are able to handle bees without a problem.
Make of this clip what you will.
Thank you for having us @lahoneybeerescue !!! We’re going with Friday next week to rescue some bees ????
That TikTok gay you’ve definitely seen before, joins the fray
Introducing @hearthrobert, a TikTok user you’ve definitely seen before because of the fact that he’s not just funny, but also very hot and very gay.
He made an easy to digest summary of the entire drama between the two bee removalists, which you can watch below.
Why is he being brought up, well, you’ll see.
A cease and desist letter
It seems that @lahoneybeerescue didn’t quite like Robert’s summary of the story, and will be sending @hearthrobert a cease and desist letter??? They also go absolutely in on him for seemingly no reason, and it’s painful to watch.
“@hearthrobert you’re going to be getting a cease and desist letter from my lawyer. Have a nice day,” they say in a TikTok video.
“Where’s your acting career? Why are you so pressed? Oh yeah, because you have no life. That’s right you’re a TikToker.”
@heartthrobert slander/libel are pretty serious, also WAY TO MISGENDER ME REPEATEDLY. You best believe I’m coming with receipts now #happypride
So… yeah. That’s the entire drama up to date. @texasbeeworks is continuing on with her content, and @lahoneybeerescue is staying pressed online, and also sending cease and desist letters to gay TikTokers (and in Pride Month, tsk tsk).
So whose side should you be on? Well, it’s really up to you given the evidence provided. All I know is this whole drama is fkn random as hell, but boy oh boy if it isn’t the most entertaining thing I’ve laid eyes on.