A widely shared video of an allegedly Híndu man who can charm honey bees with his sweet music has been exposed as not all it seems.
Just like the legendary Pied Piper of Hamelin from German folktales who was known for his ability to command rats (and children) through his tunes, the claim is that the modern-day devout Hindu man allegedly has the power to sway honey bees through his flute.
A video has been making the rounds of social media with this claim showing a man dressed in yellow trunks and a saffron headband, playing the flute.
A swarm of bees surrounded him, with many even sitting all over his face and body as he plays a melody.
Those sharing the video on Facebook and Twitter claimed that his ability to mesmerise bees through his flute was an example of the greatness of Sanatan Dharma or Hinduism.
But reserach by India Today found that in fact he was a Muslim, and secondly that the bees were not attracted by the sweet music, but in fact had been conditioned to fly to him by the food he gave them when they responded to the sound.
Eighteen seconds into the viral video, a framed photo of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, widely known as Bangabandhu, the founding father and the first president of Bangladesh, could be seen behind the man. This hinted at the video possibly being from Bangladesh.
Subsequent searches with relevant keywords led us to many Bangladeshi news portals that reported this story revealed more videos of the man on the YouTube channel of Gtv News and the Facebook page of Maasranga Television.
As per these reports, the man in the video was Mehtab Morol, a professional honey collector from the Jessore district of Bangladesh. The viral clip could also be seen in the Gtv News report from June 2021.
Morol, per these reports, he has been collecting honey for the last twenty years. He uses several tricks associated with sound to coax bees out of their honeycombs to collect honey.
Morol told Gtv News: “Initially, I had made sounds using different utensils to attract the bees. I used to feed the honeybees so that they would become my pet. Then I started playing the flute, and they were attracted to the tune. They don’t sting me.”
Tohid Moni, a journalist from Jessore who covered Morol’s story for Sarabangla and Gtv News told India Today over the phone that Morol is Muslim.
Rahul Ray, another journalist from Jessore who covered this story for Maasranga Television, told us, “Mehtab is certainly a Muslim by birth. There is no Hindu connection. Honey collection is his profession. Besides the honey collection, Mehtab also shows this trick to people curious about his stunt.”
When India Today got in touch with him, Morol confirmed that he is Muslim. He added, “I have been doing this experiment with honey bees since last year. This is not fake or any false trick. I have challenged people to disprove it. These bees come to me whenever I play the flute and then I feed them.”
Dr Monowar Hossain, a Zoology professor at the Jahangirnagar University of Dhaka, Bangladesh explained to Maasranga Television, that honey bees have a fascination for particular sound wave frequencies.
“The frequency of flutes attracts honey bees. Another reason is that since Mehtab feeds these bees whenever they come to him, their brains get conditioned to believe that if they move towards that particular sound, they will get food.”
Thus, we confirmed that the man in the video seen attracting honey bees with his flute is a honey collector from Bangladesh called Mehtab Morol but is not Hindu.