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Honey I'm Home! Beekeeper Battle is the Calm Before the Swarm


The thrill of victory, the sting of defeat? In one of the more unusual endurance contests out there, a pair of Chinese beekeepers competed to see who could carry the heaviest load of live bees. 

To you and I the spectacle of two battling beekeepers covered in bees seems appalling but for 20-year-old Lu Kongjiang and rival apiarist Wang Dalin (42), it's merely a-pollen. What's a few bees in your bonnet when the object is to pack on the winged warriors en masse?

If you thought going toe to toe with face-tattooed Mike Tyson at a weigh-in was a frightening endeavor, then you haven't been to Longhui County of Shaoyang City in central China's Hunan Province. It was there on July 17th, 2011, that Kongjiang  and Dalin met to solve that age-old question, what's the total weight of living bees you can carry on your person in the space of an hour?

Notwithstanding the fact that for most regular folks, the prospect of having ONE bee on their person for a fraction of a second is enough to provoke a panicked St Vitus Dance that makes Elaine Benes look like Ginger Rogers.

Need another example of our aversion to nature's warm & fuzzy honeymakers? You'll recall that in the movie Little Nicky, one son of Satan sought to entertain a massive crowd of followers by presenting “a dear sweet man, Mr. Henry Winkler... covered in bees!!” Now seriously, stuff like that never jumps the shark.

But back to China, Longhui County of Shaoyang City in central China's Hunan Province to be exact. As the clock ticks away second by agonizing second, Lu Kongjiang and Wang Dalin are locked in a honey of a battle. As their respective swarms thicken and spread, onlookers wonder how the bee-fuddled contestants manage to breathe – at one point Dalin's entire face is covered! It's a good thing there weren't any bears in the area: with all those bees, there's gotta be some honey in there somewhere!

At last, and after what must have seemed the Longest. Hour. Ever., Wang Dalin (left) was declared the winner having carried an astonishing 26 kg (57.32 lbs) of living, buzzing, stinger-equipped bees on his (presumably hive-infested) body. That has to be a record, wot? Actually no: according to the Guinness Book of Records, who actually have a category for “most pounds of bees worn on the body,” American animal trainer Mark Biancaniello was measured with 39.5 kg (87 lbs) of bees on his body. USA! USA! OUCH!

Since no prize was announced following the bizarre Bee-Attracting Contest, we'll assume all the winner gets is bragging rights and, perhaps, a jumbo tub of calamine lotion. Sweet! (via Xinhuanet)