Beekeeper stung after missing world record

An Irish beekeeper failed in his bid to break a world record today by gathering over half a million bees on his face.

Philip McCabe, aged 59, said he did not succeed in attracting 100lb of bees onto his body to form a giant swarming beard for a new Guinness Book of Records entry.

“I only had slightly over 200,000 bees on me, that would be about 60lb weight, the record was 87.5lb so I was within 25lb of it or thereabouts,” he said.

“The bees that we have here in Ireland, the native black bee is a different bee than the one that holds the record in America.”

Philip said he suffered no stings in the dangerous stunt until he jumped off the scales – when he got around seven prods.

Dozens of people gathered around to watch Philip complete the bizarre challenge in Cahir, Co Tipperary to raise money for charity.

As beekeepers prepared six hives full of bees, Philip declared he was not nervous of his hair-raising attempt to beat the current Guinness Book of Records challenge of 350,000 bees weighing 87.5lb, which was set in 1998 in California.

Philip donned a pair of underwear, goggles and a back brace for the feat.

Beekeepers brought bees from six hives and through a funnel placed the insects onto his abdomen, where they climbed up to rest on his chin.

Philip, who is the head of the Irish Beekeepers Association, revealed the other bees were attracted to his body by the scent or pheromones given off by the queen bee which he placed on his chin.

The 59-year-old revealed he was not just doing it for the buzz, and urged people to sponsor a bee with all profits from the record attempt going to two charities.

The charities organising the event, Apimondia Ireland 2005, Bóthar and Bees for Development Trust, which support beekeeping projects in developing countries, were delighted with Philip’s brave attempt.

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