By Helen Le Caplain
This is the moment a self-declared ‘Bee Man’ who claims he is ‘99.9% bee venom’ plunged his BARE ARM into a huge swarm of bees – and filmed it.
Wince-inducing footage shows Bee Man Jim Gardner roll up his sleeve, showcasing his nickname tattoo, and fearlessly submerge his hand into the writhing mass as thousands crawl over him.
Not content with allowing the insects to create a living ‘glove’ on his left hand, he also filmed the skin-crawling encounter and took a photo which a passing bee cheekily photobombed.
Miraculously the Bee Man claims he emerged sting-free from the escapade, though admits he does sometimes get pursued by the odd ‘miserable’ one.
Jim from Poole, Dorset, said: “I love bees and feel really confident around them.
“I just put my hand in and watched them as they buzzed about.
“I love them – they are my obsession.
“I’m 99.9% bee venom most of the time – everyone calls me Bee Man.
“Most are fine but you soon find out if you’re with a miserable bee – some are real chasers.”
Minutes before ‘bee obsessed’ Jim captured the footage last month he described how the sky ‘turned black’ as the loyal swarm followed their queen in the search for a new home.
The footage shows the 51-year-old’s left hand submerged in the bees before he lifts it up to the camera to show hundreds of them on his hand.
Jim then turns the camera to his face and says ‘fantastic little friendly things’ before panning back to a close-up shot of the bees.
Jim said: “As I was driving with a friend I saw around 30 bees in the sky, I knew what was coming.
“I said to pull over as I knew what was going to happen.
“The sky filled up with bees and it turned black – the noise was incredible, they were so loud.
“I film everything I do when it comes to bees so this was no exception.”
Jim lives up to his nickname by regularly shifting up to 50,000 displaced bees using just a wicker beehive, known as a skep, before rehoming them with keepers.
In the last month Jim has picked up 50 swarms bagging them from all manner of spots including under car bonnets, sheds and high up in trees.
In another video Jim can be seen removing a swarm wearing just a short-sleeved shirt and shorts.
In the footage Jim is seen on a stepladder armed with just a cardboard box to remove the swarm in just nine seconds.
Jim said: “I’ve always liked them, they’re so well organised and they are an important part of our lives – we would be in trouble without them.
“Happy bees make me happy – the more bees the better.”