Monday, February 14, 2011

Bad Beekeeper

Yesterday, it was gorgeous outside.

I got to hang out with my sweet boy in the backyard and all I needed to keep warm was a sweatshirt. We visited with the chickens, checked for eggs, took a look at the garden (totally ruined by all the snow we had a while back) and then we checked on the bees.

We had seen several leave the hive, and some others had been coming back with full pollen baskets - light yellow pollen. Anderson loved seeing them come land with big balls of pollen on their legs. I wonder what's blooming right now?

Anyway, I thought I would just take a peek since it was about 60 degrees outside and I figured they would be fine. You're not supposed to open the hive until it's much warmer... I was being bad - I didn't even have my veil on, or a beesuit. They weren't paying any attention to us as we looked at the hive. I popped open the lid, took off the inner cover and showed Anderson the propolis that the bees had used to glue it on. He thought it was really cool. I also lifted him up so he could see the frames full of honey that were in the top box. It's the super we left on since summer for the bees to eat during their first winter. I took out one frame of honey - there weren't any bees in the super, so I thought it would be fine... (Shouldn't have done that!)

I let Anderson look at the full honeycomb, and touch it. He thought it was really neat that they stored their honey in the little 'pockets'. We broke a tiny bit off, and I let him taste it - it was SO good! Anderson suggested we take it inside so we could put it in our honey jar... I said we had to leave it for the bees to eat, but we could take some later in the spring.

You know the saying "Curiosity killed the cat"... ?

Then I felt something hit my eyebrow... and then it hurt! I had been stung! I told Anderson to quickly walk over by the play-set because a bee stung me. (So he wouldn't be too close and get stung too) I calmly put the frame back, put on the inner cover, and the lid. I still didn't see any bees acting aggressive... but there were more coming out of the hive at this point, and I knew they would pick up the 'tag' pheromone that the attacker-bee had left, so once I was done closing up, I got Anderson and went inside to remove the stinger. It was in there, and it was STUCK! It took a bit of time to get it out. I immediately put ice on the sting, and took some ibuprofen and some benadryl. The eyebrow only swelled up around the sting (only about a dime-size bump), and I felt like I had gotten it early enough to avoid any major problems.

I was wrong. Once the first round of benadryl wore off, the serious swelling began. I took more medicine, but it didn't matter. Overnight, while medicated, the whole eye swelled up, and now it's stuck shut, swollen, and red. Bummer! I have limited depth perception, and my face is sore because of the stretched skin... more ice and benadryl is on the agenda today... I can't go to work like this! I'll be sure to behave from now on, and wear a veil or bee suit next time I check on the girls.

Yes, that's me this morning...
sans makeup, with a swollen shut eye...
Happy Valentine's Day!

5 comments:

Cherry Red Quilter said...

Oh you poor thing - that looks so sore! I hope you feel better soon. It is a pity you had to learn your lesson in such a hard way! At least your boy didnt get stung! All the best.

melissa said...

oh my - you poor thing.
i hope the swelling goes down quickly and the pain goes away fast!

Charity said...

It's good that Anderson didn't get stung, but looking at that eye all I can really think is "YIKES!" though! I hope you are feeling better by now. I know it was fun until the sting...

Tipper said...

Oh em! You're right curosity got the best of you-but it happens to me all the time-so I know you couldn't resist! I'm sure you're all better by now!

Dana - Old Red Barn Co. said...

OH! You poor thing!!