On June 12th, Worth and I along with two other novice beekeepers attended a mentoring session at the Craig’s. We added supers to hives, scraped beeswax off frames, loaded pallets and relocated hives.
Worth was the first to get stung. Suffering from a bout of hay fever he walked out into the field away from the bees and unzipped his veil to tend to his nose. As soon as the veil went down, the bee went in and stung him perfectly in the middle of his forehead. By this time, Lucy’s husband, Martin was also several meters away from the hives and off in the field. However, he had a real battle, and from a distance we saw arms flailing and a great deal of swatting going on. He was only wearing a half bee suit, and parts of it now appeared to be coming off. This was not a good sign. It was probably 15 minutes later when I was stung on my ankle. We were moving hives on to a flat-deck trailer when the angry little creeper got me. The pain was sharp, and then dull and throbbing.
We relocated hives to two different areas and it was somewhere in between when Lucy got stung. I am not quite sure how two bees ended up in her hair, but Worth and I looked on in amazement as the Bee Whisperer worked to free the bees without getting stung. By this time, Martin had gone into hibernation with at least 10-12 stings, a great number of which were on his face. We were down a man, so that meant double duty for the rest of us. Off came the pallets, down the ditch and the up the other side to the edge of the field. We off-loaded more supers and nucs. It was hot and muggy and the inside of my bee suit was like a sauna. By the end of the evening, I looked like a drowned rat. Worth was getting more and more congested and felt as if he had corn-cobs shoved up his nose. Mary was puffed out and Martin was, well… not getting out of the car. All in all, it was an action packed evening and something of a black comedy. Any illusion that beekeeping is glamorous was completely dispelled. It was however a memorable evening; we had accomplished a lot of work and learned a great deal more.