01 Aug 2011 2 Comments
Last night some animal tipped over one of my beehives. It wasn’t badly damaged, so probably not a bear. Quite possibly a raccoon, skunk, woodchuck (wouldn’t that be ironic?) or the like.
I needed to tip it upright and re-establish it on its wooden base. Since I don’t own a beekeeper’s suit, I did my usual: put on jeans, flannel shirt, work gloves and beekeeper’s hat with head net.
It was after I had the deeps back on their base, and was putting away one of the super frames that had come out, that I noticed I was covered in angry bees. I noticed because one had stung me through the flannel. When I looked down, I was coated in bees.
Whoo boy! So far, I’ve exhibited no allergy reaction to bee stings; in fact, each time I’ve been stung, the effect has been less. For example, the first couple stings felt like a red-hot pin had been jammed into my skin. Today, it was just like a mosquito’s sting. Barely noticeable.
However, it did run through my mind that, regardless of how immune I might think I am, enough bee stings could be harmful to my health. So I turned tail and ran back to the house, hoping to lose some of the bees along the way. Maybe I did, but I still had plenty when I got there…and more were stinging me.
I cranked on the hose, put the nozzle setting on “full stream” and started dousing my shirt with water. At first I didn’t think I had much effect, but eventually I succeeded in washing them off.
One got inside my head net, but spent it’s time crawling around the net trying to get out, so it never stung me. Good thing: it’s only my face I worry about. The idea of bees going for my mouth, nose, eyes, or ears just freaks me out!
A couple hours later, I had to go back and get the top on the hive. Rain coming.
Tonight I have multiple stings on both arms, one or two on my chest, one on my abdomen, and one or two on my left shoulder blade.
And since this is bound to happen again, I now have a good rationale for owning a full beekeeper’s suit.