Competitors always live to tell the tale, however, with organizers reassuring us that “bees eat pollen and collect nectar, they do not eat people.”
But how do they do it? It’s essentially one extravagant game of follow the leader. The beekeeper plucks out the queen bee, ties her to his or her face in a small cage and then the worker bees just huddle around her, clinging doggedly onto the beekeeper’s skin.
Those who want to make it a bit more shapely apply clever diversions such as Vaseline to stop the bees crawling into unwanted areas, with the winner the one who manages to hold the most bees in their beard. Luckily this isn’t judged through a painstaking counting process, but by weighing the contestants before and after they don their insect face wig.
Clovermead's 14th Annual Bee Beard Competition is hosted during the Honey Festival in the month of August in Aylmer, Ontario, Canada. Un-bee-lievable (couldn’t resist).