We had our first visit to the local beekeeping association’s apiary this weekend – an opportunity to see other people handling bees and realise I’m not quite the clumsy oaf I thought I was. I’ve also passed a landmark – On Saturday morning my sting count was a lowly One, it’s now into double figures.
Being stung was the aspect of bee keeping that most worried me – until I put those stripy ladies in the back garden I’d never been stung by a bee and if wasps were anything to go by it could have been pretty unpleasant. I also had no idea if I’d need an epi-pen.
The first sting – on my ungloved hand wasn’t so bad – less than a nettle sting but it’s the next few stings after that tell you how you’re really going to be.
At the apiary, we were looking at a colony we’d be warned was highly aggressive, it was a cold day, I desperately needed to blow my nose and figured the bees wouldn’t notice if I snuck a hand under the veil and had a quick rummage. I was wrong.
I noticed the sting on my neck straight away – mainly because there was a bee zooming around in front of my face. I retreated, let the poor, now stingless and doomed thing out along with a load of its friends. It was only when I got home I discovered the other eleven stings on my chest – in the drama of my darling other half getting a bee up the nose, I didn’t even notice them happen. So much for the bees natural defences. We weren’t the only ones stung, I think that colony may be possessed but at least I’ll never again worry about being stung.
Hey bees – my bees, I appreciate your calm and laid back nature, I’m glad I bought you more flowers. Sorry I misjudged you when you first arrived.