Farmer Javier Rodriguez saw it as a dream come true, even though many people would find it strange to spend time with a swarm of bees.

A middle-aged man with worn hands and a strong affinity for the natural world, Javier stood in a meadow outside his little Mexican community. Thousands of wild bees surrounding him, their golden bodies glistening in the bright sunlight. With the exception of one very important detail—he had carefully covered his ears with a piece of cloth—the bees had covered his entire body.

Within minutes, Javier had managed to contain the hive of wild bees surrounding him. He could stroll and have light conversations with people who had come to see this great show. Javier Rodriguez, a farmer of 41 years old, was well known in Mexico as one of the few experts at bee beards.

When Javier was a young lad, many years ago, he started his journey into the world of bees. These microscopic animals and their complex civilizations had always captivated him. As he became older, his interest expanded and he started doing extensive research on bees. His intense curiosity about every aspect of their appearance and behavior eventually inspired him to start beekeeping.

Javier was an expert at enticing the queen bee from their initial colony, which was how he attracted the magnificent swarms of bees that presently encircled him. He would tenderly lead the queen bee to Nueva Esperanza, a secluded community deep within Mexico, with the utmost care. Her devoted followers, the worker bees, would arrive soon after. They would surround Javier’s body like a living, buzzing cocoon.

Javier stood there swarming with bees, yet his calm expression belied the strong affinity he had formed with these amazing insects. For Javier, true peace was discovered in the middle of his beloved bees, whereas other people found comfort and relaxation in the company of loved ones. He felt most at home in their enthralling world, and it was here that he understood the genuine meaning of being in contact with nature.