Celeste Antoniucci from Mar del Plata, Argentina - 1960
Photo: Hulton Picture Co.
reproduction postcard - bought 2nd hand in 2010 - unused
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The Guinness Book of Records includes a category for "most pounds of bees worn on the body," which is currently held by American animal trainer Mark Biancaniello. Biancaniello successfully wore 350,000 bees, weighing just over 87 pounds, during a 1998 broadcast of the Guinness World Records: Primetime television show.
A 2005 attempt to break the record by Irish beekeeper Philip McCabe, who was to wear a full one hundred pounds of bees, failed when only 60 pounds of bees landed on his body. McCabe was using Irish black bees, which are larger than Italian honey bees, so fewer bees (around 300,000) would have been required to reach 100 pounds than it took Biancaniello to reach 87 pounds.
Due to ever-increasing competition to break the record, most advanced attempts at bee bearding now involve bees covering the entire face, torso, back, and arms of the participant in order to provide sufficient surface area for over eighty pounds of bees to land. Nevertheless, the name "bee bearding" is still used.
In 2009, couple Li Wenhua and Yan Hongxia of Ning'an, China, both beekeepers, married while both were covered in bees.