Page last updated at 06:28 GMT, Sunday, 26 June 2005 07:28 UK

Irishman fails in bee record bid

Philip McCabe
Mr McCabe was 150,000 bees short of the 1998 California record

An Irish beekeeper has failed to take the world record for attracting the most bees onto his body after managing a 200,000-strong 'bee beard'.

Wearing little more than underpants and goggles, Philip McCabe, 59, failed to top the 1998 record set in the US of 87.5lb (40kg), or 350,000 bees.

After two hours on scales, he was forced to give up because of numb feet.

"The bees we have in Ireland, this native black bee, is different than the one that holds the record," he said.

'No stings'

Mr McCabe, who is the head of the Irish Beekeepers Association, said he suffered no stings in the stunt - held at Cahir, Co Tipperary - until he jumped off the scales and was stung seven times.

Dozens of people watched his attempt, which was to raise money for charitable causes in Africa.

Philip McCabe
He told reporters he was not nervous ahead of the attempt

Beekeepers were on hand with six hives full of bees for the feat.

Using a funnel, they placed the insects onto his abdomen, where they climbed up to rest on his chin.

They were attracted to his body by the scent or pheromones given off by the queen bee which Mr McCabe had placed on his chin.

Speaking after the attempt, Mr McCabe urged people to sponsor a bee with all profits from the record attempt going to two charities - Apimondia Ireland 2005 and Bothar and Bees for Development Trust, which support beekeeping projects in developing countries.

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