Tuesday, September 24, 2013


The end of the season is always risky. Often both Paula and I make it until the end of August without getting stung. Honey bees are generally very docile especially during a nectar flow and when they have brood to tend to. However, in late August they get protective and guard their nest with great enthusiasm. It isn't just humans who want to take their honey but other honey bees, wasps and hornets as well. Guard bees can be seen hovering close by to go after any avenger.

Three weeks ago when we were pulling some honey for ourselves the bees went after me. I got at least 8 stings, mostly on my arm and one on my belly. I was wearing my suite but they can sting right through that. I should have had a long sleeve shirt on and didn't. Last week we went to try and pull some empty frames that the bees had cleaned and Paula got a bee inside her veil that stung her on her temple and then a few more stings. You see once a bee stings it sends out a warning signal to other bees and they tend to swarm and sting with enthusiasm. Paula left the bee yard right way to try and temper the bees while I got everything back in order. We abandoned the task and came back yesterday to finish the job. I actually didn't get stung until we were finished with our work and were leaving the bee yard when a single bee got to my ankle and stung me.

I do have boots that I typically were in the bee yard but they are literally falling apart with gaping holes so I left them behind yesterday and went in with some flimsy shoes. My next mission is to replace those boots, they are 10 years old and have served five of those years in the bee yard. I just hate to buy new shoes and boots, it is such a chore for someone with size 5 feet.

Anyway, yesterdays sting is a dozier, right on my ankle joint and my foot blew up like a balloon and is bruised and so tender I can't flex the foot at all. I am struggling to get into a pair of shoes to work a little princess shift this morning!  If you didn't know better you'd think I had sprained my ankle. All for the love of honey bees.

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