Michael Smith subjected himself to several stings a day to his face, arms and genitals to map out what section of the body was most sensitive to the barbs.
After weeks of research Smith found that although stings to his penis and testicles were uncomfortable, the worst place for a bee to attack was the nostril.
His usual idea for the study came about when the bee enthusiast was discussing the problems of working with hives with his academic adviser.
‘We speculated it probably really would hurt to get stung in the testicles. Two days later, by chance, I did get stung there. It didn’t hurt as much as I expected it to,’ he told the Independent.
Intrigued by his ‘eureka‘ moment, Smith chose 25 locations on his body to measure the level of pain. He then held a bee to those areas and allowed it to sting him.
Like all scientific studies he needed to repeat his experiment several times so, over the course of 38 days, he administered five stings a day.