This picture taken on April 9, 2014 showing She Ping, a 34 year-old local beekeeper, covered with a swarm of bees. - AFP
BEIJING: A Chinese beekeeper covered his semi-naked body in more than 460,000 bees for a publicity stunt aimed at selling more of his honey, he told AFP Thursday, using a technique known as "bee bearding."
She Ping, a 34-year-old honey merchant from the southwestern Chinese metropolis of Chongqing, covered himself in bees that collectively weighed more than 45kg (100 pounds) in a display for a group of French photographers on Wednesday.
Bee bearding is a global pursuit, and Indian Vipin Seth holds the world record for wearing a mantle of bees weighing 61.4kg (135 lbs), according to Guinness World Records' official video channel.
Participants generally attract the bees by placing a queen bee in a small cage hanging from their body.
"To be honest I felt very nervous, but I do it to promote my honey," She said, adding: "I'm used to dealing with bees... and started these activities when I was about 22."
Chongqing has emerged as a hotspot for bee bearders, with several other local honey merchants taking part, and honey shops with signs showing them covered in the insects visible in the city.
She said he was stung more than 20 times during the 40-minute stunt.
"The main preparation is avoiding taking a shower, especially avoiding using soap because it can excite the bees," he said.
China is one of the world's major producers of honey, though its exports have been banned in several countries due to fears of counterfeiting.
She admitted that his attempt fell short of a world record, but claims the record for carrying out the stunt without any clothes.
"Of the people who do it naked, I'm probably the most awesome," he said. - AFP