Let me start by saying I never had a second thought that I would be able to avoid getting stung. But after watching multiple YouTube video’s and reading stories about how docile bees are I thought I might have a chance. From day one we knew it wouldn’t be that way for hubs. The night we installed the three hives he was stung…multiple times. But the reactions weren’t bad just the normal swelling and itching and I just decided to play it a little safe. And that worked…..until it didn’t. The first time I was stung was on the top of my head. It wasn’t a bad sting necessarily but it was enough for us to order me some proper beekeeping gear (hubs was already using a veil/jacket combo).
I always wear the veil/jacket combo now when we are working with the bees. I don’t, however, always wear both gloves. If you’ve watched some of my videos (https://youtube.com/channel/UCGq-tlBDa5SmTSgh9Ld9SbQ) you will know that I normally have one hand without a glove so that I can take pics and videos. Well during one of the videos one of the girls was VERY unhappy and found purchase with her stinger on my finger. That one sucked! With that sting my finger, hand and forearm all swelled up. That same day I also accidentally trapped one of the girls between the folds of my shorts (yes, I wear shorts) and she got smashed into my thigh and stung. That one wasn’t too bad but boy did it itch! But in the end the finger was my priority and concern. I had always been told I was allergic so I needed to watch it like a hawk. Thankfully after a week or so it finally was back to normal minus a joyous scar that remains.
This last weekend was one for the books though. Friday night we were moving in new equipment. We THINK the commotion mixed with all the equipment “smells” put the girls on edge and one dive bombed my ear and got me good. Unfortunately with that one the stinger stayed in longer than I’d have liked but I couldn’t see it and hubs was still busy. Finally got the stinger out and immediately started taking Benadryl and Advil to hopefully curb the reaction. It didn’t work! Woke up Saturday morning looking like the elephant man and was in a bit of pain. But work had to continue, the girls had new homes to be moved in to (more on that later).
Amazingly they were super docile and no big issues. I did get one lady who stung me through my jeans when I had to break apart two frames but it didn’t hurt and I thought I had avoided a sting. I was wrong. That one isn’t too bad just an itchy nuisance. I had a couple more try to sting me as the weekend went on but thankfully didn’t make purchase. Hubs thought he skirted getting any stings this weekend to have one of the girls nab him on the ankle when we were trying to level the new hive stands. He’s swollen up pretty good!
I had a good sit down with myself this weekend to make sure that this part of it was worth it. In the end, it absolutely is. I just might buy stock in Benadryl ;)