April 12, 2014 -- A Chinese beekeeper covered his half naked body with nearly half a million bees in order to sell more honey, and managed to walk away with only slightly more than 20 stings, he said.
She Ping, 34, a honey merchant from Chongqing province in Southwest China, pulled off the feat, known as "bee bearding" with the help of his wife and fellow bee keepers who covered Ping in a "bee dress" weighing more than 45 kilograms (100 pounds).
"I first did this at 22, just for fun and out of curiosity. Later on, I would put on the bees just for the sake of making people believe I sell actual real honey," Ping told the Chongqing Evening Post.
The ordeal lasted 40 minutes, during which time he said he felt "hot, suffocating and nervous" under a suit of bees equaling about 28 beehives worth of insects.
Bee bearding is a worldwide phenomenon, with competitions being held to see who can wear the most bees.
The bees are usually attracted onto the body by trapping and attaching the queen bee somewhere to the body, former self-described "bee wrangler" and bee research scientist, Dr. Norman Gary told ABC News.
"The displaced worker bees home in on the queen's pheromones and quickly swarm around the person," said Norman, who also holds the Guinness record for most bees held in the mouth (109).
Ruan Liangming of Fengxin County in China holds the world record for bee bearding, managing to carry off a suit of 62.1 kilograms (136 pounds) bees, according to a Guinness World Records video.