‘I whisper to the bees; they understand who I am’ – Tamirat Getachew


Tamirat Getachew’s apparent ability to tame honey bees has astounded a lot of people in his hometown of Asosa, in Ethiopia.

How does he do it?

“It’s a gift,” he tells the BBC.

The 18-year-old allows the insects to swarm his bare chest and head without wearing any kind of protection. Sometimes he’ll even let the bees enter his mouth.

“I have a special ability to put bees on myself without covering my lips and ears,” he explains.

It was only five years ago that Mr Tamirat was first introduced to bees.

“They came and settled on my body as I passed by [the bee farm] and they started paying attention to what I was saying,” he says.

According to him, he did nothing to draw them in. ”They just understand who I am. Bees are like humans to those who approach them.”

However, his relatives and neighbours were initially concerned. ”They were frightened. They warned me not to go near bees as they can be dangerous. However, I was aware of my gift at the time,” Mr Tamirat says.

They eventually discovered he had a special bond with the honey bee.

His actions are highly unusual in the neighbourhood. Bee farmers typically harvest honey at night in order to prevent bee stings, particularly in rural parts of Ethiopia.

Studies have shown that bee stings can be lethal.



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