I haven’t been stung that many times, but every time I was, I was doing something stupid. Something the bee books tell you not to do. Ever.
Bee handling season is upon us, and I’d like to share with you a few lessons I’ve learned from painful experience.
1. Always check your clothing for stray bees after you inspect the hive.
Sounds simple, right? The first time I was stung I wasn’t wearing a beekeeper’s suit. I fed my bees sugar syrup and got sticky in the process. After I finished, I went inside and took off my pants to wash them. When I picked up my pants, I grabbed a bee! Ouch!
I started wearing a beekeeper’s suit after that. Easier to see the bees. And I always check for hitchhiking bees before I go inside.
2. Bees don’t like dark colors, body odor or vibrations near the hive.
I found this out while dressed all in black, needing a shower and banging two bricks together while gardening right next to my hive. Amazingly, I only got stung once.
My bees probably thought I was a very dim-witted little bear.
3. It’s a good idea to wear wellies while inspecting the hives instead of black socks and black clogs.
See Number 2 above. Bees can sting through socks like nobody’s business! It was my worst experience with bee stings. My ankle was swollen for a week.
4. Inspect the hive between the hours of 10 am and 5 pm, when a lot of the bees aren’t home.
Inspecting the hive at 7 am isn’t a good idea. Especially when wearing black socks and black clogs.
Now when I inspect my hives, I smell as sweet as a rose in my white bee suit and wellies. I also look like I’m going out to handle Plutonium…
There is a silver lining to my experience with bee stings. I used to have some pain in my hands from typing a lot. Now it’s gone. Bee stings really do work for that!!
- How To Deal With Bee Stings (superdoodadsblog.wordpress.com)