Tuesday, May 4, 2010

First sting

Well, it had to happen. I got stung for the first time. It wasn't as bad as I expected. I don't know if it is the strain of bees (Italian), or if the stings just aren't as bad as I remember, but it has happened.

A few days previous we had gone into the hive for the first time. They didn't seem at all happy when we did that, but they tolerated it. The real problem is that we only have one beekeepers hood and my son gets to wear it. First time violating hte hive went without incident.

We've been feeding the bees with a front feeder since they came in. I wanted to be sure they were getting plenty of food as they settled in. I went to change the feeder.

It was early in the morning, and the bees were slow and lethargic. I pulled the feeder out from the front of the hive, and the bees immediately began to swarm out of the hale recently vacated by the feeder. Up around my body and head.

I wasn't wearing gear. I was only changing the feeder.

I backed up, bu was too slow. One had landed high on my left cheek, and plunged its stinger into my face. I didn't feel it as first, as I brushed the bee off, but a warmth slowly spread across my face.

I backed up further and found my way inside. My cheek was hot to the touch, and I could feel the stinger under my eye, like an errant whisker.

Peering in the mirror, my face was starting to swell. I took a few Benedryl, squeezed out the stinger and that was it. No climax.

The swelling went down and I went to work. Nobody noticed.

I ordered a bee keepers hood and jacket, now my son and I can work together. I need to put a super on top of the hive. I'm going to wait until my new gear shows up.

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