Bee Influencer Stung by Fraud Accusations, Creating Huge Buzz on TikTok

A woman has created a huge buzz on TikTok after accusing a popular beekeeping influencer of faking her videos and misleading her followers.

A TikToker known as @LAHoneyBeeRescue recently claimed that Erika Thompson, known as @TexasBeeWorks, is promoting bad practices when handling hives.

In a video, since shared on Twitter, that has surpassed more than 2 million views, LAHoneyBeeRescue explained: "What she's doing, going and opening hives with her hair down, wearing dark clothes with exposed skin, is dangerous.

"She doesn't show her wearing protective gear when she analyzes the hive at first. She shows herself removing comb her husband has pre-cut for her very courteously."

Beekeeper suits are white because the insects have evolved to protect their hive from wild animals, which usually have darker fur. Thompson's black shirt and darker clothing could therefore be seen as inappropriate attire.

Thompson, who is very much the queen bee on TikTok with 6 million followers, often shows herself handling bees without any protective gear, and with her long blond hair hanging loosely on her shoulders.

The influencer, based in Austin, Texas, has even collaborated with celebrities such as Jason Derulo. She encouraged him to remove his veil and bite into fresh honeycomb while bees were still crawling on it.

In another video, posted on May 22 with over 155,100 views, LAHoneyBeeRescue said: "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."

“ @ texas bee works: we all see you. we know you’re faking.” 😳

— ☭ (@diligenda) May 24, 2021

LAHoneyBeeRescue also took issue with the fact that Thompson hasn't mentioned that it's almost impossible to differentiate between killer bees and less defensive bees, without resorting to antagonizing them.

Many took to the comments section to share their views on the accusations.

One TikTok user, known as xim.ixx, wrote: "Still don't understand the problem, she didn't make me think it was an easy job I think she just takes out her phone when it is an easy situation."

Another person, LA.Spike, added: "After u posted, I scrolled thru tons of her vids. Ur very right.

"She's posing & using asmr type vids to gain odd attn but is irresponsible & a farce."

Baked typed: "I am so tired of falling in love with creators and then be disappointed."

Ximena commented: "Girl why are you so mad, no one watches her videos and thinks about doing the same she does.

"She's still saving bees, no need to hate on how she does it."

While Araceli Cisneros stated: "Her videos always seemed a bit off. It's good you're shining light on this!"

Newsweek have contacted Erika Thompson for comment.

Beekeeper handling bees
A stock image of a beekeeper handling bees. On TikTok, one woman has called out famed beekeeping influencer Erika Thompson, calling her "fake." Getty Images