It’s honey harvest time. After taking in 15 frames from 2 hives and being ever so proud of not getting stung, I figured that was enough for one day.
Pride is a dangerous and vindictive thing.
We filled two empty hive boxes sitting on the kitchen table, covered them with a towel for the night, figuring we would get to the straining in the morning. The cuttings and scrapings went into a couple of large bowls that we covered in plastic to contain any remaining bees that got swamped in the honey.
It is also garlic harvest time so that occupied the rest of our day and evening, then off to bed we went.
With the morning came the realization that I had not in fact gotten all of the bees off of the frames. First it was one crawling on the table, OK take her outside…then is was one on the floor, and a couple on the table cloth…time to look inside the boxes. They are persistent little things when it comes to their honey stores.
The boxes and bowls quickly went to the deck where we patiently flicked honey covered bees onto plates to have a chance at survival. I was completely unaware that a few lovelies had fallen to the deck floor and were quietly walking around, drying off and getting adventurous.
I have no idea why I am so slow to learn that open legged pants have no place around bee work. One wayward bee ended up inside my pants.(Ending up pantless is becoming a regular bee experience for me; faster than small talk and a drink, let me tell you!)Running inside and discarding my pants in the kitchen and quickly making my way to the bathroom to end my pain with this: HOT COMPRESS. It’s like magic (or science…meh, whatever).
After our first trip to the late night ER, as we unfortunately came to realize W is allergic to bee stings, the doctor asked what we had done already. We had ensured the stingers were removed, put an ice pack on the swelling and W had taken an over the counter allergy medicine. Our instinct to treat swelling with cold was incorrect in this scenario. The bee venom deteriorates in the heat of a simple hot wet cloth. We are now the proud owners of double strength prescription Clariton, an Epi-pen and this simple knowledge.
A hot compress is the easiest method for those not allergic(me) to eliminate the pain. The swelling still happens but is much less and the pain is instantaneously gone.This really is all I care about as I am,beyond a doubt, a wimp about pain.
So next time a misguided bee goes all “Defender of the Realm” on you, just scrape out the stinger and get a hot compress on it as soon as possible.
It’s the price of honey, wide leg pants and short term memory issues (tuck pants into boots, got it… maybe).