In a premiere full of weird moments, this might be the weirdest. At the end of WandaVision Episode 2, which premiered alongside Episode 1 on January 15, a literal beekeeper emerges from a manhole and walks into the suburban town when the Scarlet Witch and Vision have inexplicably found themselves. It's a head-scratcher, to say the least, but a survey of Marvel comics and video game history reveals a shocking conspiracy that might be WandaVision's big twist.
Warning! Spoilers for WandaVision Episodes 1 and 2 (and speculative spoilers for the entire show) ahead.
When the mysterious beekeeper shows up at the end of WandaVision Episode 2, Wanda seems to recognize him — or maybe she's recognized the S.W.O.R.D. logo on his back. There's a panic in her eyes before she seemingly rewinds time to a scene several moments earlier where she suddenly becomes pregnant (more on that in another article) and rewrites the plot to give herself a happy ending. Clearly, the beekeeper is bad news, but why?
Who is the Beekeeper in Marvel?
There's no supervillain in Marvel history called "The Beekeeper" (though that kinda feels like a missed opportunity), but there are beekeepers in this universe — sort of.
Advanced Idea Mechanics (A.I.M.) is an evil organization of genius scientists in the Marvel universe bent on world domination through the use of technology. The group has supplied weapons both to HYDRA and the U.S. government, but it's also notable for its unique dress code: its members often wear helmets that look a lot like beekeeper face coverings, along with yellow jumpsuits. Higher-ups wear three-piece yellow suits.
While not officially called beekeepers, the name has stuck. In the 2009 comic Ms. Marvel Volume 2 Issue 40, Deadpool even says this of AIM: “Don't trust the beekeepers, eh? Fair enough. I don't trust 'em either.”
So what does this mean for WandaVision? Well, that's where things get interesting...
The beekeepers and WandaVision
The plot of WandaVision is still shrouded in mystery after two full episodes, but one thing seems clear: S.W.O.R.D. is involved. The organization (basically the space-facing version of S.H.I.E.L.D.) appears to be monitoring Wanda Maximoff. We see their logo on a notebook at the end of Episode 1 when the camera pulls back to reveal someone watching Wanda and Vision on an old TV. In Episode 2, it also appears on a toy helicopter that mysteriously lands in the couple's backyard.
How does AIM connect to S.W.O.R.D.? That's where things get even murkier. In the comics, AIM was created by HYDRA leader Baron von Strucker during World War II as a sort of offshoot of the evil Nazi organization (Strucker also shows up as a movie villain in Avengers: Age of Ultron). When HYDRA became a secret parasite cell within SHIELD, AIM followed suit and eventually gained influence as a major weapons and technology supplier to the U.S. government.
With SHIELD pretty much out of the picture at this point in the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline, is it possible that SWORD is running the show and AIM/HYDRA has simply adapted to living inside another host? The fake commercial in WandaVision Episode 2 directly references both Strucker and HYDRA, so there's definitely some sort of connection being made. The specifics are still unclear, but it seems possible that AIM (an evil terrorist group) is poking around in Wanda's brain while masquerading as SWORD (a presumably good organization).
This would be a pretty big change from the comics, but that's nothing new for Marvel. In fact, the recent video game Marvel's Avengers also featured AIM's beekeepers as its primary antagonists, rewriting the group's history so it was founded by George Tarleton (aka, the game's main supervillain MODOK).
What happens next? To be honest, we have no idea. WandaVision might be the weirdest and most mysterious thing Marvel Studios has ever released, and while the beekeeper scene is certainly weird, it's definitely not an outlier.
For now, keep an eye out for any more clues that SWORD might actually be the latest incarnation of HYDRA. And watch out for bees.
WandaVision is streaming now in Disney+.