You've most likely heard of snake charmers, but probably not a honey bee charmer.
Taming bees has been the life's work of Citrus Heights man Norman Gary. You may have even seen some of his work in Hollywood films like "My Girl" and "Fried Green Tomatoes.”
He helped with bee scenes in over 100 films, commercials and TV shows. Before retirement, the 83-year-old often covered himself in bees while charming them with his clarinet.
"I have probably been stung over 7,500 times. It doesn't hurt anymore,” Gary said.
Gary started bee keeping in 1947. He eventually became a professor at UC Davis.
During the day he worked with insects. In his off-time he created a sideshow where he plays his clarinet to honey bees.
"I play in a couple of jazz bands. Music is what I mainly focus on now," he said.
Gary’s talents eventually got noticed by Guinness World Records for piling more than 87 pounds of bees on a human.
"I couldn't do it to myself, so I had this guy stand in for me, and they gave him the Guinness world record prize," he said, still holding onto that grudge.
He does, however, still hold the record for most bees fit in a human mouth at 109.
Gary retired from show business a few years ago. Now he just trains wild bees in his back yard for fun. "Some people like to watch birds; I like bees," he said.
Music is Gary's main focus now. You can see his band play Straw Hat pizza in Fair Oaks Nov. 16.
And yes, he plays bee-related music.
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