If an overwhelming sound of buzzing is coming from the siding on your house, or from an old trashcan or other enclosed space, you’ve got a bee problem and will need a professional.
If you live in Austin Texas, your beekeeper may arrive without so much as a protective glove on her hand.
After quitting her office job in 2019, Erika Thompson, founder of Texas Beeworks, became a fulltime beekeeper with a mission to increase the population of bees and hives in the Lone Star State.
So, every day she travels to rescue errant bee swarms from harm. She carefully preserves their old hive, cutting it into sections to transfer to a new hive that she has brought. Then she carries the hive to her truck and brings them to her land where they can recover.
Erika is like a bee whisperer. When she arrives on the scene, she can discern from their behavior whether the bees are likely to sting her. She will use protection for those broods, but mostly she works in harmony with them.
With the tenderness of Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin who would kiss the nose of a ‘problem croc’, Thompson will scoop out bees that have invaded trash bins or house siding with her bare hands and a gentle smile.
All the while, she’ll be explaining on camera, for her TikTok or YouTube channels, how kind, soft, and orderly, bees really are.
“How come they aren’t stinging you?” is the number one question posed to Erika, who says the key is reading the bees’ mood.
“After we remove the bees, they are relocated to one our 25+ bee sanctuaries in the Austin area so that the bees can continue their important work in a place that is both safer for you and for them,” Thompson writes on her website.
While it could cost a $100 or more to have an established hive removed from your property, Thompson is encouraging people to protect bee populations by offering free swarm removal. Swarms are errant balls of hiveless-bees, which sometimes don’t have a queen, and are thusly aimless.
Out of respect for the bee’s toil, Texas Beeworks does not sell any honey from her hives, but rather makes a living exclusively through bee removal and beekeeping classes.