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I've been keeping this blog for nine years and now there are over 1200 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a!
Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Bee-ing Stung

Last year I only was stung 3 times the entire year...and once was by a bee in the house.

This year I've stopped counting. I think it's a natural feature of being a beekeeper - comes with the territory, as it were. I also think the number of stings relates to how engaged I've gotten with the bees. Last year I was simply hoping that the hives would live through the season and through the winter.

This year I'm trying to get the bees to use natural cell size. I've given a small swarm a home in a nuc and have stolen frames of eggs and brood from other hives to help them get a good queen. I've had a two-queen hive and I've split it effectively into two hives. I've had a hive that barely made it through the winter that I've tried to nurture both to survive and to live in natural cell size. There's a lot going on in my bee yard.

So I shouldn't be surprised that I have been stung more. I've had stings on my knees twice this year. My forearm doubled in size one week from a sting when I didn't get the stinger out in time. Each of my thumbs got stung and each swelled up so much that about ten days later, the skin peeled off as if I had been sunburned. I've stepped on a bee in the house barefoot and been stung again this year. And on and on. I don't notice it as much any more, although the stings still hurt when they happen, still swell, and if I don't get the stinger out fast enough, still itch for about 10 days.

Tonight I was working in my garden in front of my house. Tomorrow is a watering day (we have designated days in Atlanta because we are in extreme drought) so I wanted to get the last of my plants planted and mulched before I start the sprinkler in the morning. It was 8:45 PM and getting dusky. A bee flew up my t-shirt as I was mulching and I guess she didn't like finding herself there. She began to buzz angrily and I headed for the house, stripping as I hit the kitchen door. Before I got my shirt off, she stung me on the upper arm. Then as I pulled the shirt off, I got stung again on the neck. I guess that means there were two bees under my shirt, although I only heard one.

And this sting set didn't even come from working in the bee yard......GRRRRR.


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