Sunday, October 20, 2013

My First ... and Second ... Zinger

It was bound to happen sooner or later. One can't do things the way we do without, occasionally, having a mishap.

It started out good. The day was a gorgeous and warm. They were a lot more active than we anticipated given the time of year - which in this case was not such a good thing. The plan was to move five bars from one side of the hive to the other. We talked it out for several minutes before we decided on our plan of action, and then we got to work.

The cover off, we pried the first bar and a cloud burst around us. Deus Ex Machina ducked and ran, an angry welt swelling on his inner arm just above his elbow.

After a minute to allow everything to calm down, we stepped back in. This time my hair became a trap, but after a few minutes we were able to free her with no mishaps, but next thing we knew, Deus Ex Machina is being followed, aggressively. I was shouting, "Stop running!", because I could see each landing, and my intent was that he stand still, I spray a leaf or a twig with the sugar water we use to calm them, and use that as bait.

He couldn't stand still, and his shirt turned into a trap. The neighbor enjoyed the strip show in the middle of road, and even opened her window to encourage him not to stop there. We laughed. Ha! Ha! Ha!

And tried to continue laughing, but they weren't settling down, and by this time, Deus Ex Machina was too freaked out.

I said, I'd do it. Inhale. Exhale. Slowly.

I moved the next bar, safe. No worries. Inhale. Exhale. Slowly move away.

My damn hair is just like a freakin' spider web, and buzz, buzz overhead and snatch, and she was stuck. Only this time, she was not trying to get loose. She was in combat mode, and as soon as she realized there was scalp close to her butt ... zing! OUCH!

It was my first sting. My second was on my belly, and the bee stung me right through my shirt.

We got the hive back together and decided to leave them to settle.

Beekeeping without protective gear is certainly exciting.


  1. Ouch, you are one brave woman!

  2. Not nearly as brave as it might sound ... ;).

  3. I would be the one freaking out, good for you!
    I have been stung exactly once in my entire life. And I would not like to be stung again.

  4. Definitely not one of my favorite moments in homesteading, but I figure, if I want bees, which I do, I have to accept that I might get stung.

    Of course, that said, when it happened, I was rethinking the whole "beekeeping sans the protective gear" philosophy we've had ;). The sting on the top of my head is still a bit tender ;).

    Next time, I'm thinking I'll wear a bandana and a turtleneck ;). shirt ;).