Sunday, September 03, 2006

Gloves or a lack thereof

As a 1st year "beek", I've been a little timid when it comes to stings. Prior to Saturday I had only been stung twice. The 1st time was at the Beekeeping Institute during the practical exam portion of the Certified Beekeeping course. This sting was located in my "ear hole". Yes! You read that correctly. My right ear was bright red, I could feel my heart beating in my ear & it had a fever. This lasted for 3 days ! ! ! If that wasn't enough, Dr. Keith Delaplane was giving me the exam and had to remove the stinger. Dr. Delaplane is very well known for his honeybee work at the University of Georgia and I was a little embarrased by the whole incident. The 2nd time was when I moved the 3 new hives I acquired from Mike Sorensen to my apiary. I forgot to zip up my pants after tucking in my shirt and got stung on the inside of my upper right thigh. Needless to say that hurt a helluva lot more than the sting to my ear! My wife got a good laugh out of that, right up to the point that I told her I needed her to help "ice me down". All of the sudden it wasn't so funny to her!....LOL

Yesterday, I received the 3rd honeybee sting of my life. I have noticed that it's difficult to work in the hives while wearing leather gloves and have been contemplating not wearing them anymore. Brian has been stung twice while working in my beeyard so when I shared my thoughts about foregoing the gloves, he was all for it. He thought that was the greatest idea ever. I wonder why? I made it as far as the 3rd hive and was reaching for the outer cover to put it back on when...............BAM! Outta nowhere I got nailed on my index finger. I quickly removed the stinger and within 3-5 minutes the shearing pain & throbbing went away completely. I didn't think anything about it until a couple of hours later when I noticed my whole left hand was very swollen. I mean SWOLLEN! It's still a little swollen today (about 24 hours later), and it's very sore.

I've been a little eager to get stung I guess you could say. I just haven't been able to allow myself to actually get stung. I even thought seriously about intentionally placing a bee on me in hopes it would sting me. With more stings comes the benefit of becoming immune to the sting and I will not have any symptoms (so they say. Although I haven't identified who "they" are). It's not the pain so much as not knowing when it will happen and being able to mentally prepare yourself for the sting.

Sting count:

Chris = 3
Brian = 2