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The buzz behind TikTok’s viral beekeeping and bee removal business

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Erika Thompson poses with her bees.

"I had a [TikTok] video of me doing a bee removal that went viral," says beekeeper Erika Thompson. "And that was the first time my life sort of changed." Aimee Aubin

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My Economy” tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.

For Erika Thompson, owner and operator of Texas Bee Works, starting her business was a passion project.

“I knew that keeping bees was what I wanted to dedicate all of my time and energy to, but I didn’t exactly know how to do that,” she said. So Thompson started saying yes to bee-related inquiries, from housing bees to teaching bee-keeping classes.

“I was happily running a beekeeping business when in 2020 I joined TikTok, and everything changed for me.” Thompson went viral for posting a bee-removal video and her business skyrocketed.

Thompson has had to deal with rising prices as a beekeeper, like “the equipment that’s used to house the bees, the beehive boxes,” as well as transportation costs. Inflation and the larger economy have impacted her, but she continues to do the work and serves as a bee educator, as well. “I don’t think people realize how important bees are to not only our food system but also our ecosystem.”

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