Thursday, April 28, 2011

New beekeeper, new blogger

No one has ever accused me of being the first to try something, but as of this week I am a beekeeper (a pastime recorded at least as far back as ancient Egypt) and as of today, a blogger.

This blog will bee concerned with all aspects of my beekeeping.  I will share my successes, my failures and  my stings.  I may also comment on the meadow about to be planted and other fauna in our yard, such as the nest of six adorable baby bunnies I found in the flower bed by our garage.

About the bee stings--prior to last week, my one and only bee sting occurred while running through the sprinkler on Portman Avenue when I was a little girl.  The clover was blooming in the grass and I stepped on a bee.  It hurt me but it was far more serious for the poor bee.  Last week, while helping my friend Susan install two packages of bees in her new hives, I was stung on the inner upper right arm when one of the worker bees was squeezed there and once on my left leg above the knee.  I was wearing jeans but didn't have the cuff cinched with the handy dandy velcro strip Harvey had made for me.  I learned the hard way that bees like to explore openings.  Since we were at the construction site of Susan's Dublin home, I had to ignore the stinger that continued to pulse venom into my thigh.  

After practicing on Susan's hives, she accompanied me to the meadow to install my two packages of bees.  The practicing paid off in that my installations took a fraction of the time hers did and we finished without having to use our goose feather bee brushes to brush off hundreds of bees from each other's clothes.  I picked up two more stings on my left wrist. These stings were 1/2" apart.  I learned the hard way that I should either remove my bracelet to keep bees from getting squeezed there, or I should wear my beekeeper's gloves which go all the way to the elbow and have elastic openings.  One wrist sting was a nasty thing and I immediately scraped out the stinger, but the other was just a little jab.  Nevertheless, my wrist and hand were painfully swollen for a day and itched for close to a week.  I need to buy more Benedryl and will experiment with every bee sting remedy known to current civilization until I find something really effective or just get better with the bees so I don't get stung.

Just to keep the count accurate, when I worked on the hives Sunday (one had a leaky feeder that needed Harvey's attention) I got one more itty bitty sting on my right leg just below the knee.

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